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Heard on the Hill

Posted By Ashley Lovelace, Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Teresa Morris, Director, Advocacy & Government Relations

Greetings NOVA Members –

Wow, it was a busy February and March – the Legislative Committee finalized its 2020 Legislative Priority Goals and NOVA held its Hill Day and Roundtable events in Washington, D.C. Thanks to the over 30 Members who showed up and joined us to speak to Congress about VA healthcare and local issues critical to VA’s Mission. Stories from the day will be presented in the coming weeks. Needless to say, Congress heard loud and clear from our VA Nurses!

Our 2020 Priorities focus on ensuring an adequate budget, monitoring access and the Community Care Network and most importantly, Staffing, Recruitment and Retention, with emphasis on lowering vacancies by recruiting and retaining a highly qualified workforce. For the entire list of goals, visit the NOVA website and click on the Advocacy Tab.

We also held our Annual Legislative Roundtable at DAV Headquarters in DC. The Roundtable is a great event that brings together stakeholders from the VSO community, Professional Nursing Organizations, Hill Staff, Union Representatives, and leadership from the VA Office of Nursing Service. 

Discussions centered around VA healthcare and services, staffing, modernization/reorganization within VHA, APRN status update, and the recently published report, “The Future of Nursing 2020-2030,” which can be found here: https://nam.edu/publications/the-future-of-nursing-2020-2030/

For pictures from Hill Day and the Legislative Roundtable – check out our website today!

Congress continues to hold hearings and introduce legislation designed to improve VA programs and services. NOVA makes a point of monitoring anything that affects our members and how they provide care to Veterans.  The FY 2021 Budget and FY 2022 Advance Appropriations was introduced in February and is now in the hands of Appropriation Committees. NOVA supports the Independent Budget funding request for both cycles. The IB VSO’s – DAV, PVA and VFW have worked to develop and present concrete recommendations to ensure that VA remains fully-funded and capable of carrying out its mission to take care of current and future population of Veterans. I urge all of you to take a look at the information provided, Congress has for years acknowledged the importance of the VSO analytics and accuracy of its numbers.

The link to the document can be found here, http://www.independentbudget.org/116-congress/

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! 

As we move towards the end of the 116th Congress and the 2020 elections, I ask all of you to continue to voice your views as to how, when and where Veterans receive care as VA moves through new models of healthcare delivery. All of you remain at the forefront and can provide invaluable information on how VA continues to carry out their core mission of taking care of our Nation’s Heroes.  

Stay Tuned!


Tags:  Congress  DAV  Legislative Roundtable  NOVA  NOVA on the Hill  Priorities  PVA  Recruitment  Retention  Staffing  VFW  VHA 

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Congratulations to the 2020 Scholarship Winners

Posted By Ashley Lovelace, Thursday, February 13, 2020

NOVA on the Hill Day Scholarship Awardees are Selected! 

Two scholarships will be awarded in the amount of $250 each for the following two nurses to attend NOVA on the Hill Day on March 5, 2020. 

Congratulations to:

Ashley N. Jones, MS, BSN, RN, OCN, CHPN
VA Maryland Healthcare System

Steven D. Powell, MSN, BSN, BA, RN-BC
Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center


Criteria for the scholarships:

Applicant must be a member of NOVA for one (1) year. Must attend NOVA on the Hill Day 2020. Scholarship recipients will be required to submit to NOVA within 30 days after the conclusion of NOVA on the Hill Day 2020 a written narrative describing: How they plan to use and/or have used their experience at NOVA on the Hill Day 2020 and why they would return to NOVA on the Hill Day in the future.

Current members of the NOVA Board of Directors are not eligible to apply


Tags:  2020 Scholarship  NOVA  NOVA on the Hill  VA 

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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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