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AACN Reacts to the President's Veto Which Impacts Nursing Workforce Development Programs

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Press Release
For Immediate Release

AACN Reacts to the President's Veto Which Impacts
Nursing Workforce Development Programs


WASHINGTON, D.C., November 14, 2007 - The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) was extremely disappointed by the news that President Bush vetoed the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill (H.R. 3043). This bill provides $167.65 million for Nursing Workforce Development programs (Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act) and represents a strong bipartisan response by Congress to help alleviate the current workforce shortage.

"Nursing schools across the country rely on Title VIII funding to educate new nurses and future faculty,” said AACN Executive Director Geraldine Bednash, PhD, RN, FAAN. “In FY 2006, Title VIII programs provided loan, scholarship, and programmatic support to 48,698 students pursuing a nursing education. These programs are essential not only in educating nurses, but more critically in funding the preparation of additional nurse faculty. Without the additional funds provided by Congress for these programs in FY 2008, our country’s healthcare system will be placed in further jeopardy because of the critical shortage of nurses.”

This bill also provides $140.9 million, a $3.56 million increase, for the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). For 20 years, NINR has funded research that establishes the scientific basis for quality patient care. NINR’s research is integral to the future quality of the nation’s healthcare system. Through grants, research training, and interdisciplinary collaborations, NINR addresses care management of patients during illness and recovery, reduction of risks for disease and disability, promotion of healthy lifestyles, enhancement of quality of life for those with chronic illness, and care for individuals at the end of life.

“We are encouraging our member deans and directors of nursing programs to contact their Members of Congress and urge them to vote to override the Presidential veto for H.R. 3043. While AACN understands the difficult funding decisions Congress and the President must make, we firmly believe that not supporting the FY 2008 LHHS-ED Appropriations bill would aggravate the healthcare crisis our nation is experiencing. Congress must continue to support nursing education and research,” said Dr. Bednash.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing is the national voice for university and four-year-college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 600 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.

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Robert Rosseter, 202-463-6930, ext. 231