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AACN Applauds President's Recommendations for Nursing Funding

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Press Release
For Immediate Release

AACN Applauds the President’s FY 2014 Budget Recommendations that Address the Impending Shortage of Nurses and Nurse Faculty

Increased funding for the Nursing Workforce Development programs
will support the health of America’s patients

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 10, 2013 – Upon release of the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Budget, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) applauds the Obama Administration’s effort to increase funding for nursing education in light of the sobering fiscal climate focused on deficit reduction. AACN expressed firm support of the President’s recommendation to increase funding for the Nursing Workforce Development programs (Title VIII, Public Health Service Act) to help meet the nation’s mounting healthcare demands.

“Our nation’s healthcare system is at a tipping point, said AACN’s President Jane Kirschling.” “Soon, millions of Americans with no previous access to healthcare coverage will seek services. This proposed increase for nursing education will help ensure these individuals enter into a healthcare system that is equipped with the professionals needed to provide them quality care.”

The President recommended $251 million for Title VIII as outlined in the Department of Health and Human Services portion of his Budget. This mirrors the Administration’s FY 2013 request and is approximately $20 million over FY 2012 and FY 2013 (prior to sequestration) funding levels. The extra $20 million is outlined for the Advanced Education Nursing program, which will help prepare the next generation of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) to provide primary, preventive, and specialty nursing care.

AACN commends this funding level, as it is protected from further cuts that other healthcare programs incurred. If enacted, it will help alleviate the pressure on our nation’s nursing schools that have to make harsh decisions around increasing enrollments in a tight fiscal environment. According to AACN’s enrollment and graduations survey for the 2012 academic year, 79,659 qualified applications were turned away from baccalaureate and graduate programs due to insufficient number of faculty, budget cuts, and resource constraints. Any surge in funding would help the Title VIII programs to support the development of the nursing workforce, and in turn, increase access to quality nursing care. This would directly impact the health and safety of Americans.

In the Budget Overview, the Administration notes that the President’s budget “demonstrates that we can make critical investments to strengthen the middle class, create jobs, and grow the economy while continuing to cut the deficit in a balanced way.” See http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/overview.

AACN believes that investing in nursing education directly supports the President’s efforts to create jobs. According to the 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections 2010-2020, the Registered Nursing workforce is one of the leading occupations that will add the most positions by 2020. The number of practicing nurses is expected to grow from 2.74 million in 2010 to 3.45 million in 2020, an increase of 712,000 or 26%. The projections further explain the need for 495,500 replacements in the nursing workforce bringing the total number of job openings for nurses due to growth and replacements to 1.2 million by 2020.

AACN supports the President’s comments that tough choices must be made to find “common ground to further reduce the deficit.” However, the President clearly believes that an investment in growing the nursing workforce, particularly APRNs, and the faculty that educate them needs a long-term approach that is not sustainable without an increased investment.

AACN also commends the President’s Budget as it included a slight increase for the National Institute of Nursing Research, bringing the funding to $146 million, approximately $2 million more than FY 2012 and FY 2013 (prior to sequestration). Investing in the science that guides nursing practice and improves patient outcomes is just as critical as developing the next generation of nurses. Nurses must be equipped with the evidence needed to practice in a way that decreases costs and increases the quality of care.

As Congress works to develop the FY 2014 budget and appropriations, AACN will continue to raise awareness of the significant impact federal dollars make in supporting schools of nursing, their students, faculty, and researchers.

“AACN is committed to sharing with Congress the value quality nursing care provides American patients and their families, said Dr. Kirschling. “We will work with our colleagues in the nursing community to advocate for the funding these critical programs need.”

For more specific information on the President’s Department of Health and Human Services Budget, see:

For more information on AACN’s Appropriations Advocacy, see:
http://www.aacn.nche.edu/government-affairs/appropriations.

 

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing is the national voice for baccalaureate and graduate programs in nursing. Representing more than 720 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. For more information, visit www.aacn.nche.edu.

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CONTACT:

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