Pennsylvania lawmakers have introduced legislation in the state House and Senate that would establish an Office of the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO).
Why a Pennsylvania Chief Nursing Officer Matters
Registered nurses are the largest professional group in Pennsylvania, but they’ve historically lacked representation in Harrisburg. As the state continues to face serious health care challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital capacity issues, and workforce shortages, a state CNO could bolster both visibility and representation for the profession.
This role would inform and influence Pennsylvania leadership on health care issues. The CNO’s position would be comparable to the role of Physician General, acting as an advisor to both the Governor and the Secretary of Health.
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What Would the Pennsylvania Chief Nursing Officer Do?
Pennsylvania’s CNO would work alongside the Department of Health and represent nurses throughout the state. They would be closely involved in health care decision-making, weighing in on various public health matters and programs. The CNO would:
- Advise the Governor and Secretary of State on behalf of nurses.
- Review professional standards and practices in nursing and public health.
- Consult with recognized health experts.
- Serve as a voting member of the State Board of Nursing.
Where UPMC Stands on a State CNO
UPMC strongly supports legislative efforts to establish a CNO for the state. We believe now is the time for elected officials to show their support for nurses by ensuring they have a seat at the table in Harrisburg.