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End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium Receives Grant Funding to Expand Project's Reach

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Press Release
For Immediate Release

End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium Receives
Grant Funding to Expand Project's Reach


National Cancer Institute Awards Funding to Train Graduate Faculty

WASHINGTON, DC, February 5, 2003 - Today, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) announced its support for $98 million in funding for nursing education programs included in President Bush's FY 2004 budget proposal. However, the association is disappointed that the President is recommending only level funding for nursing programs and directed no money to address the critical shortage of nursing faculty as authorized in the Nurse Reinvestment Act. Further, AACN is deeply concerned about the cuts to health professions programs and the impact this may have on access to health care.

"At a time when federal priorities are focused on a possible war with Iraq and homeland security, it is heartening to see the President acknowledge the need to address the nursing shortage and fund nursing education programs," said AACN President Kathleen Ann Long. "Though we are thankful to have been spared funding cuts, we are concerned that funding levels are still not set high enough given the magnitude of the nursing crisis and dire need for nursing school faculty."

The proposed $98 million to fund nursing education programs administered by the Department of Health and Human Services includes $72 million for basic workforce development and diversity enhancement programs and $26 million for advanced nursing education. "Since Advanced Education Nursing Grants support the majority of programs that prepare graduate-level nurses for faculty positions, AACN is very concerned that the proposed funding will further limit the available pool of nursing faculty and constrain efforts to adequately address the workforce shortage," added Dr. Long.

The President's budget includes $7 million for a newly authorized scholarship program, a provision of the recently enacted Nurse Reinvestment Act, which will help reduce the financial barrier to a nursing education. The budget also includes an increase of $24 million over existing funding for the National Health Service Corps, a federal program that provides scholarships for health care providers who agree to work in underserved rural and urban areas.

Also proposed in the President's budget is $27.9 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which includes a $5 million increase for the National Institute for Nursing Research. AACN commends this increase, but supports the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research Funding in recommending a 10% funding increase for NIH in FY 2004.

Though nursing programs received level funding in the budget proposal, other Title VII health professions programs were completely eliminated. In FY 2003 the President proposed a $110 million cut in these programs and has proposed the same funding level for FY 2004. These dramatic cuts will diminish the health care workforce and impact the delivery of care to diverse, uninsured populations. AACN is also disappointed to see the proposed cut of $36.2 million from the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program and a funding target for the Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality that is still $20 million below the FY 2002 level.

"We encourage congressional leaders to reassess the proposed cuts in Title VII programs and consider how the diminished funding will impact Americans most at-risk and in need of health care services," said Dr. Long.

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City of Hope National Medical Center is an innovative biomedical research, treatment and educational institution located just outside of Los Angeles. Designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is dedicated to the prevention and cure of cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases. The Center’s philosophy of Hope has inspired its health care experts to develop programs that focus on treating the whole person—their emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing—in addition to their physical care. It is this combination of patient-centered care, state-of-the-art treatment and groundbreaking research that has made City of Hope a leader in the fight against devastating diseases. Web site: http://www.cityofhope.org

The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University is the academic partner of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The Cancer Center is one of only two centers in Illinois to receive the prestigious National Cancer Institute (NCI) Comprehensive Cancer Center designation. Through the collaboration between Northwestern Memorial and the Cancer Center, patients benefit from state-of- the-art clinical care as well as access to a wide range of clinical trials. The Cancer Center is a leader in research, conducted by nationally recognized clinicians and scientists. Web site: http://www.lurie.nwu.edu

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for university and four-year college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 580 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN's educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications, and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor's- and graduate-degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. www.aacn.nche.edu.

CONTACT:

Robert Rosseter, 202-463-6930, ext. 231
rrosseter@aacn.nche.edu