Merkley, Wicker, Johnson, Joyce Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Resolution to Recognize National Nurses Week

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) teamed up with U.S. Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30) and David Joyce (R-OH-14) to introduce a bicameral resolution marking National Nurses Week, in recognition of the invaluable contributions made by nurses across America long before, and throughout, the coronavirus crisis.

The resolution comes amid reports of mounting burnout among health care workers—a startling trend that puts lives, and America’s health infrastructure, at risk.

“As the husband of a nurse, I’ve seen close-up how difficult their jobs are and how important they are to patients,” said Merkley. “Like nurses in every corner of Oregon and all across the country, Mary has continued to serve throughout the coronavirus crisis—providing crucial care and support for families during some of their most difficult moments. This week, let’s all take a moment to appreciate and celebrate the nurses in our communities for their dedication and care, and recommit ourselves to doing all we can to provide them with the support they need to keep saving lives.”

“Nurses in Mississippi and across the country are a vital part of our health care system,” Wicker said. “This resolution honors our nation’s nurses for the invaluable role they play in providing quality care and patient support.”

“As the first registered nurse elected to Congress, supporting and championing nurses has been a cornerstone of my work since I came to Washington. And over the past year, as our healthcare workforce has been put to the test, many have discovered what I have always known to be true—nurses play a vital role in the health and well-being of our communities. Defined by their resiliency, empathy, and reliability, our nurses have made tremendous sacrifices to prioritize the care of their patients. Today, I am proud to stand with my bicameral and bipartisan colleagues to express our appreciation and admiration for nurses across the country,” said Congresswoman Johnson.

“National Nurses Week gives all Americans the opportunity to celebrate our nurses for the heroes they are,” said Congressman Joyce. “As the proud husband of a nurse and as the Co-Chair of the Congressional Nursing Caucus, I’ve watched firsthand as America’s nurses led the fight against COVID-19. Their bravery, selflessness, and dedication to their patients are truly unmatched. It is my privilege to join Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and Senators Jeff Merkley and Roger Wicker in introducing this bipartisan, bicameral resolution to highlight the work nurses do to keep our nation healthy and to honor the sacrifices they’ve made throughout the pandemic. I encourage everyone to take time this week to personally thank the nurses in their community for all they have done and continue to do.”

For the 19th year in a row, nurses have been ranked the most trusted professionals in America, with 89 percent of Americans ranking the health care heroes as having “high” or “very high” levels of honesty and ethics.

The resolution recognizes Americans’ appreciation for nurses’ care, and the importance of their work conducting medical research, eliminating public health disparities, promoting healthy lifestyles, and on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, the resolution notes that Congress must work to strengthen nursing workforce development and education.

“Every nurse in Oregon, and across the country, thanks Senator Merkley for his support of our profession. He has always been a champion for nurses and his resolution in support of Nurses Week couldn’t come at a better time for everyone on the front lines of health care. This has been an extremely challenging year for nurses, and we are grateful to have our work honored in this way,” said Lynda Pond, President, Oregon Nurses Association.

“Nurses have been at the heart of our fight against the Coronavirus, and have saved lives across the country and around the world. This resolution helps to put nurses and healthcare workers at the center of this story and to address the hardships we have faced while supporting our communities,” said Jodi Barschow, President of Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals AFT Local 5017.

In addition to Merkley, Wicker, Johnson, and Joyce, the resolution is supported by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), John Boozman (R-AR), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Steve Daines (R-MT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Hoeven (R-ND), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Tina Smith (D-MN), Jon Tester (D-MT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and U.S. Representatives Rodney Davis (R-IL-13), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1), Nanette Diaz Barragan (D-CA-44), Cindy Axne (D-IA-3), Thomas Suozzi (D-NY-3), David McKinley (R-WV-1), Joyce Beatty (D-OH-3), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Steve Cohen (D-TN-9), Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA-32), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA-40), Mark Takano (D-CA-41), Mark Pocan (D-WI-2), Filemon Vela (D-TX-34), Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA-8), André Carson (D-IN-7), Michael San Nicolas (D-GU), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9).

A copy of the resolution is available here.