Wednesday, April 1, 2009

President Obama’s Economic Incentives Herald Hope for Nursing

By Susan Kreimer, MS, contributor

Nursing advocates view the economic stimulus signed by President Barack Obama as a significant investment in health care and believe the nursing profession stands to benefit greatly from the much-needed assistance.

“In fighting for resources in the stimulus, the nursing community shared a belief that this funding can help pave the way to fill many thousands of the over 200,000 currently vacant job openings within the next one to three years,” said Michelle Artz, chief associate director of government affairs at the American Nurses Association in Silver Spring, Maryland.

According to Artz, filling these vacancies will enhance patient care, increase efficiency and reduce costly medical errors. “The nurses produced through this investment are the chronic care/prevention managers, care coordinators and nurse educators of tomorrow,” she said.

The stimulus includes $500 million for the health workforce. Of this package, $300 million is allocated to National Health Service Corps, with $200 million dedicated to Title VII and VIII of the Public Health Service Act. Title VII refers to health professions programs and VIII applies specifically to Nursing Workforce Development.

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