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PCC’s Mills and Schneider Give National Nurse Debate Shot In The Arm

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Teri Mills and Alisa Schneider

"Ms. Mills provides the shot in the arm that the nation and nursing needs," wrote Mary Ireland, a registered nurse and associate professor at Long Island University, to the New York Times.

Ms. Mills is Teri Mills, PCC nursing instructor of 26 years, and she along with Alisa Schneider, PCC alumni and new faculty member, are leading a nationwide movement to get an Office of the National Nurse established in Washington D.C. Both Mills and Schneider are concerned about the state of the nation’s health care system. They claim the nation provides predominately sick care instead of focusing on health care.

"The National Nurse would teach Americans about proper nutrition to avoid such national epidemics as Type Two Diabetes," Mills said. "The Office of the National Nurse would function in a complementary role with the Office of the Surgeon General and other current agencies providing health care services," adds Schneider.

If you don’t think they’re serious, then just look at what they’ve been doing. Mills met with Representative Lois Capps (D-CA) in June and was assured a bill would be written to create the position. Mills and Schneider then flew to Washington D.C. and were joined by Therese Polick, a psychiatric nurse from Maryland, in September to conduct meetings with The American Organization of Nurse Executives, The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics, and Neonatal Nursing, and the Center for American Progress. The three were also able to brief Nurse Admiral Mary Pat Couig, the Assistant Surgeon General, the Democratic National Committee, The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, The Center for Health Transformation, and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.

Mills and Schneider plan to continue their efforts in building a coalition for their proposal. With the help of Dennis Smith, author of Report from Ground Zero, they have formed a 501-C3 to collect further donations in support of educating others about their work. Mills and Schneider also plan to speak at national conferences throughout the year. To learn about their progress and ways to help, please go to and sign up to receive the National Nurse newsletter.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »


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