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AACN Applauds President Obama’s FY 2012 Budget Proposal Calling for an Increase for Nursing Education and Research

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Press Release  
For Immediate Release

President’s Budget Released as Congress Considers a Deep Funding Cut
to Health Professions and Nursing Education in FY 2011


WASHINGTON, DC, February 14, 2011- Today, President Obama released his Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Budget Request, which includes funding for critical nursing education and research programs. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) recognizes that the Administration has remained committed to nursing by increasing the funding for the Nursing Workforce Development Programs (Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act) and Nurse Managed Health Clinics to $333 million in this difficult fiscal atmosphere. Additionally, the President’s request included a modest increase over the FY 2010 level for the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), totaling $148 million, which will support NINR's mission to advance nursing science and translate innovations into improved patient care.

“AACN appreciates President Obama’s dedication to nursing education by providing an increased level of support in this challenging economic climate,” said AACN President Kathleen Potempa. “Given the demands on our healthcare system for highly educated nursing professionals, the President’s budget reinforces the Administration’s commitment to helping support the next generation of registered nurses, advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), nurse faculty, and researchers.”

In his budget, the President stated:

“Strengthening the primary care workforce is critical to reforming the Nation’s healthcare system. Increasing access to primary care health providers can help prevent disease and illness, ensure all Americans have access to high quality care, and reduce costs by decreasing the need for more invasive treatment that could have been prevented through early care. To increase access to this type of care, the Administration provides increased resources for primary care training and support for health care providers who choose to enter primary care in medically underserved areas. In total, the Budget includes investments that will help train more than 4,000 primary care providers estimated to enter the workforce over the next five years.”

APRNs, including Nurse Practitioners and Certified Nurse Midwives, play a critical role in providing essential, cost-effective primary care services across the nation. AACN will continue to advocate that these providers are recognized and more widely utilized as experts in primary care.

The President’s FY 2012 budget is released at a time when the House of Representatives is currently finalizing the FY 2011 appropriations process. Under consideration is a Continuing Resolution (CR), H.R. 1, which the House Appropriations Committee introduced last week. As the largest cut to discretionary funding for the federal government in history, this CR would reduce funding by over $100 billion from the President’s FY 2011 Budget Request. Of interest to nursing and health professions stakeholders, the CR cuts the Nursing Workforce Development Programs and Health Professions Programs (Title VIII, Public Health Service Act) by $145.1 million, a 29% decrease in funding over FY 2010 levels. Additionally, the CR proposes a reduction of $1 billion for the National Institutes of Health. A vote of H.R. 1 is expected later this week.

AACN recognizes the difficult decisions Congress and the Administration must make in this time of economic recovery. Yet, drastic reductions to programs like Title VIII and the National Institute of Nursing Research will inhibit the growth of the profession at a time of its greatest need for nurses and the science that improves patient outcomes and keeps healthcare expenditures down.

While AACN is heartened to see a proposed funding increase in the President’s FY 2012 Budget Request, the association is concerned over potential cuts in FY 2011 spending for nursing education and research. “AACN urges Congress to remain steadfast in recognizing the value that quality nursing care provides American patients and their families,” said Dr. Potempa. “We will work with our colleagues in the nursing community to protect the funding for these critical programs.”

For more information on the President’s FY 2012 Budget Request, see:

For more information on specific health programs, see:

For the latest information on nursing education funding, see AACN’s Government Affairs resource center at

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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 640 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. Website:


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