All three provisions for health professions training will provide an opportunity for nursing students and schools to receive funding. The Nursing Workforce Development Programs support the supply and distribution of qualified nurses to meet our nation’s health care needs. Over the last 45 years, Title VIII programs have addressed each aspect of nursing shortages – education, practice, retention, and recruitment. By investing in these programs, Congress has shown its strong commitment to reversing the national nursing shortage and filling vacant nursing positions.
The provisions authorized under Title VII are the only federally funded programs that support the education and training of individuals across the interdisciplinary healthcare team. Schools of nursing and nursing students benefit from many Title VII programs, such as the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students and the Faculty Loan Repayment Program.
Finally, the National Health Service Corps provides scholarships and loans to nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, primary care physicians, dentists, mental and behavioral health professionals, physician assistants, and dental hygienists.
In November 2008, AACN’s Board of Directors approved the organization’s request to expand AACN’s efforts to secure funding for nursing education in the stimulus package. In this difficult economic time for schools of nursing, the Board recognized this unique opportunity to act now and alleviate current funding concerns for nursing education and increase appropriations for the Nursing Workforce Development programs in fiscal years 2009 and 2010. Reacting to AACN’s call to action, nursing deans, faculty, and students rallied behind the stimulus legislation and sent more than a 1,000 messages through AACN’s online advocacy tool to Congress explaining the importance of supporting nursing education and funding for the Title VIII programs.
“Securing this funding is a tremendous feat for nursing education and a testament to the power of collaboration among nursing organizations,” added Dr. Raines. “AACN is grateful that our membership acted quickly, along with the thousands of nurses across the country, to encourage Members of Congress to include funding for nursing and health professions training in the final bill. Nursing united and prevailed.”
For more details on AACN’s advocacy effort on behalf of nursing education and research, see http://www.aacn.nche.edu/Government/index.htm.