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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: April 28, 2021 11:01 AM
From: Senator Bob Mensch
To: All Senate members
Subject: Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to establish a Chief Nursing Officer within the Commonwealth.
As we all should know, Registered Nurses play crucial role in the Commonwealth’s healthcare environment.  They are the largest professional group in Pennsylvania, yet they often lack adequate representation in policy-related decision-making in Harrisburg.
As a result, this legislation would establish the Office of Chief Nursing Office (CNO) of the Commonwealth, which will be modeled after the roles and confirmation process of the Physician General.  The Pennsylvania Chief Nursing Officer will have the following duties:
  • Advise the Governor and Secretary of Health;
  • Participate in the decision-making process of the Department of Health (DOH) on policies related to nursing and public health-related issues;
  • Review professional standards and practices in nursing and public health;
  • Consult with recognized experts on nursing and public health matters which are within the jurisdiction of the DOH;
  • Provide advice on nursing and public health issues to the secretary and to other executive branch agencies;
  • Coordinate educational, informational and other programming for the promotion of wellness, public health and related nursing issues in the Commonwealth;
  • Consult with experts in the Commonwealth and other states on programs and issues important to Pennsylvania; and
  • Serve as a voting member of the State Board of Nursing.  

It is long overdue that the General Assembly and Governor include Registered Nurses and other members of the health delivery team in healthcare-related decisions.  I believe this legislation is an important step in improving outcomes in Pennsylvania healthcare.
I hope that you will join me as a co-sponsor for this important legislation. If you have any questions, please call David Kozak from my office at 717-787-3110.

Introduced as SB848