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Agencies and Regulations

The American Nurses Association (ANA) leads federal-level advocacy efforts to ensure that policymakers and regulators understand the role of the nurse and nursing when implementing laws through the regulatory process. ANA engages with numerous federal agencies. 

When Congress passes laws, rarely do they include specific language. It is the responsibility of the federal agencies to implement the laws through the regulatory process. ANA is the lead organizations for ensuring that the important voice of nurses is heard during this process. The rules/regulations process The development of rules takes time and follows a defined process, one which allows organizations such as ANA to have input into the final outcome.

Process steps

  1. The publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register offers an opportunity for those with an interest in the particular rule to react to the draft rule before it becomes final. ANA routinely reviews the Federal Register for proposed regulations.
  2. ANA reviews regulations of particular interest to the nursing community, analyzing them and identifying concerns.
  3. If necessary, ANA submits comments to the agency recommending changes to the proposed regulation. Commenting on draft rules is one of the most active points of involvement in the entire regulatory process.
  4. The agency reviews all public comments received within the comment period, and may or may not make changes to the proposed rule when the agency finalizes the rule.
  5. After additional agency review the final rule is published and takes effect. 

Depending on the specific rules/regulations in question, ANA will often work together with other interested parties to produce a joint document that is offered to the agency on behalf of all co-signatories.

Read a comprehensive list of ANA regulatory comments

The agencies ANA monitors While some federal agencies are clearly more closely aligned with the health care sectors than others, the scale and scope of our profession means the work and lives of the 3.6 million registered nurses in the U.S. falls within the sphere of many. With that in mind, we regard it as our duty to monitor the regulatory output of the following agencies, taking action when we see fit. 

List of agencies

Agency for Health Research and Quality

The Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ) sponsors and conducts research that provides evidence-based information on health care outcomes; quality; and cost, use, and access; providing that information to stakeholders in the health care system. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Recognized as the lead federal agency for protecting the health and safety of the nation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) serves as the national focus for developing and applying disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion and education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the United States.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is responsible for administering the Medicare program and parts of the Medicaid program, along with oversight of the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (ACA). 

The Department of Health and Human Services

The U.S. government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides essential human services through more than 300 programs. 

Department of Justice Anti-Trust Division

The Department of Justice (DOJ) Anti-trust Division exists to promote and protect the competitive process - and the American economy - through the enforcement of antitrust laws. 

Department of Labor

Charged with overseeing issues relating to workplace safety and health, pensions and benefit plans, employment, and other issues related to the U.S. workplace – the activities of the Department of Labor (DOL) have obvious implications for nurses and nursing. 

Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA)

Responsible for the welfare of ex-servicemen and women, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) provides information on VA programs, veteran benefits,

and VA facilities world-wide – including the expansive VA hospital portfolio.

Drug Enforcement Agency

The federal law enforcement agency tasked with controlling and enforcing the illegal substances laws and regulations of the U.S. 

Food and Drug Administration

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the federal agency responsible for ensuring that foods are safe, wholesome, and sanitary; human and veterinary drugs, biological products, and medical devices are safe and effective; cosmetics are safe; and electronic products that emit radiation are safe. 

The Health Resources and Services Administration

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) mission is to improve and expand access to quality health care for all by eliminating barriers to care, eliminating health disparities, assuring quality of care, and improving public health and health care systems. 

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Part of CDC, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related disease and injury. 

The National Institute of Nursing Research

The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) supports clinical and basic research to establish a scientific basis for the care of individuals across the life span – from management of patients during illness and recovery; to the reduction of risks for disease and disability; and care for individuals at the end of life. 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the government agency that establishes protective standards, enforces those standards, and reaches out to employers and employees through technical assistance and consultation programs.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) is the federal agency charged with improving the quality and availability of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitative services in order to reduce illness, death, disability, and cost to society resulting from substance abuse and mental illnesses.

www.rnaction.org

Read more about ANA’s advocacy at a federal level and find out how you can add your voice

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The American Nurses Foundation is a separate charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation does not engage in political campaign activities or communications.

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