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A Message from Our President

Posted By Ashley Lovelace, Thursday, February 13, 2020




Dear NOVA Members,

Have you ever thought about using your knowledge and experience as a nurse to advocate for improving VA health care beyond the local facility level, at the state or national level? Does policy and advocacy interest you? If so, you should seize the opportunity to join us, your fellow NOVA members, at NOVA on the Hill Day on March 5th Click Here to Register and NOVA’s Annual Legislative Roundtable Click Here to RSVP on March 6th in Washington, D.C. Getting involved and creating change can have a significant positive impact on both your professional development and Veterans’ care.

Nurses instinctively protect their patients’ rights and welfare. They are advocates for quality of care improvements, and are in an ideal position to engage in political activism. However, this isn’t a new concept. Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, also known as The Lady with the Lamp, utilized evidence and political tactics to improve sanitary health conditions for the British soldiers during the Crimean War which led to changes in the health care delivery system.

If nurses don’t participate, policy decisions will be made without nursing input, which is unacceptable. Decision makers need to hear from nurses. The Institute of Medicine’s Report, The Future of Nursing: Leading change, Advancing Healthcalled for an increase in leadership from nurses at all levels, including front line staff nurses to nurse executives. All nurses can demonstrate their role as a leader by serving as an advocate and addressing public policy through the legislative process. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing your personal experiences. Politicians want to know how legislative issues affect their constituents. 

Having a voice on Capitol Hill is pivotal, and NOVA is the Voice of VA Nurses on Capitol Hill. Therefore, we must band together to improve health outcomes and effect change. There is power in numbers. The VA employs more than 80, 0000 nurses, so we should be a force not to be reckoned with. I encourage you to participate in advocacy and policy to strengthen NOVA Nurses’ impact in Washington D.C. by attending NOVA on the Hill Day and NOVA’s Annual Legislative Roundtable in March 2020. These are wonderful opportunities for you to meet face-to-face with your representatives in Congressmen and Senators from professional nursing organizations as well as Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs). Don’t miss out!

In closing, I would like to thank you for providing exceptional care day in and day out to America’s heroes across this great nation. Your passion is commendable. 

With appreciation,

Kelly D. Skinner, DNP, APRN, NP-C, GNP-BC, CRRN, WCC, CFCN


Tags:  Capitol Hill  health care  Hill Day  Kelly Skinner  NOVA  NOVA on the Hill Day  Nurses  President  Roundtable  VA  VSO 

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Heard on the Hill - NOVA 2020 Hill Day

Posted By NOVA, Thursday, January 16, 2020

Greetings NOVA Members –

As the new year begins, NOVA will be preparing for many exciting events in Washington D.C. 

First up, our 2020 Hill Day which will commence on Thursday, March 5th in our Nation’s Capital – Please check all of NOVA’s Social Media platforms and the Website for ongoing updates/How to sign up and lots of other information to help you get ready to “Storm the Hill” for VA nurses.

For more information click here.

We will be providing training in a webinar hosted by me on Wednesday, January 29.  You will have the opportunity to partner with others who have participated in DC activities in the past and be mentored by NOVA Legislative Committee Members to help you in your journey to becoming a strong advocate.

This is an outstanding opportunity for NOVA to discuss nursing within VHA with Members of Congress and voice your concerns on issues that matter to all of you.

Congress is set to begin the second session of the 116th and as expected, VA and Veterans healthcare and services remains a priority for the House and Senate VA Committees. The Senate will have a new Committee Chairman – Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) - who has stated publicly that suicide prevention and oversight of VA programs will be his top priorities. The House has also posted their priorities which include suicide prevention, women’s and minority health, toxic exposure and VA oversight.

NOVA will be formulating its own 2020 Legislative Priority Goals in the coming weeks and will use them as our “foundation” when discussing critical issues facing VHA.  They will also be the leave behind for our Hill Day and the source of information discussed with lawmakers all year.

 I encourage all of you to stay current on our advocacy efforts by visiting the NOVA Website and watching our Social Media accounts – information on hearings and issues moving quickly through Congress are always provided as they happen!

I urge you to continue to voice your views as to how, when and where Veterans receive care as VA moves through any and all new forms of healthcare delivery. All of you remain at the forefront in ensuring VA continues to carry out their core mission of taking care of our Nation’s Heroes. 

Stay Tuned!

Teresa Morris, Director, Advocacy & Government Relations

Tags:  Heard on the Hill  Hill Day  NOVA  NOVA Hill Day  NOVA on the Hill 

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NOVA Hill Day 2020 - What to expect

Posted By NOVA, Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Advocating for the Department of Veterans Affairs nurse is at the heart of NOVA’s mission. Our members are the front-line staff who provide the best care for Veterans. That is why as an organization, NOVA encourages our members to get involved legislatively and advocate for the interests of the VA nurse. 

Because the VA remains one of the largest agencies in the Federal Government, employing more than 90,000 nurses it is critical for NOVA to have a voice on Capitol Hill. It is our collective voice that makes a difference.

In just a few months, our NOVA members will come together in our Nation's Capital and meet face-to-face with their representatives in Congress. Join us on March 5, 2020 and have your voice heard. 

If you attended last year’s Hill Day you know just how powerful NOVA is when we band together. In 2019, we took our priority goals and “Top Five Reasons Veterans Prefer VA Health Care” edict to staffers from both the House and Senate VA Committees. 

This year you can expect a continuation of dialogue around critical issues facing the VA and providing the best health care system for our Nation’s Veterans. Things will kick off at The Wink Hotel at 7:30 AM with introductions from NOVA Board Members and Legislative Committee Co-chairs. 

Continental breakfast will be provided at the hotel along with bus transportation to take attendees from the hotel to Capitol Hill. Please schedule your congressional appointments accordingly if you plan to take the bus into D.C. NOVA has plenty of resources on our website to help you prepare and schedule a meeting with your House and Senate leaders

Then attendees will be equipped with tips and tools for successful meetings, including a map of Capitol Hill, how to prepare for security, etiquette for meeting with Staffers, and Representatives and a Hill Day toolkit that will include talking points, 2020 legislative priority goals, and more.

After the NOVA Hill Day Kick Off Event the bus will depart for Capitol Hill at 10:15 AM and NOVA members will attend their meetings, followed by an event debriefing back at the Wink Hotel that evening. 

We look forward to coming together with NOVA members this March in D.C. We hope you join us for this wonderful opportunity to build relationships with Congress and key staff and to advocate for your issues. 

Tags:  Hill Day  NOVA Hill Day  NOVA Hill Day Blog 

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