Letter from the Americans for Nursing Shortage Relief, of which ANNA is a member, to the Chair of the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies requesting at least $175 million in funding for Nursing Workfo...

June 6, 2006

Representative Ralph Regula


Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies

Committee on Appropriations

United States House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Regula:

As you begin mark up on the Labor/Health and Human Services/Education appropriations bill, the Americans for Nursing Shortage Relief (ANSR) Alliance asks you to remember the critical role that registered nurses play in our nation’s health care system. With an estimated 2.9 million licensed registered and advanced practice registered nurses (RNs and APRNs), nurses represent the largest occupational group of health care workers and provide patient care in virtually all locations in which health care is delivered.

The ANSR Alliance is comprised of fifty-one national nursing organizations united to identify and promote creative strategies for addressing the nursing and nurse faculty shortages. ANSR requests at least $175 million in funding for Nursing Workforce Development Programs under Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in FY 2007.

Enacted in 2002, the Nurse Reinvestment Act (NRA) included new and expanded initiatives, including loan forgiveness, scholarships, career ladder opportunities, and public service announcements to advance nursing as a career. Despite the positive accomplishments posted under NRA, HRSA fails to have the resources necessary to meet the current and growing demands for our nation’s nursing workforce. For example, in FY 2005, HRSA received 4,465 applications for the Nurse Education Loan Repayment Program but had the funds to award only 18% (803) of all applicants. Also in FY 2005, HRSA received nearly 3,500 applications for the Nursing Scholarship Program but only had funding to support a mere 6% (210) of all applicants.

After years of declining interest in nursing as a profession, we are seeing the opposite occur. Many Americans have come to find nursing an attractive career. A common theme emerging among prospective nursing students is a concern of facing waiting periods of up to three years before matriculating due to the growing nursing faculty shortage. When all nursing programs are considered, the number of qualified applications turned away during the 2004-2005 academic year was estimated to be more than 147,000 by the National League for Nursing. Without sufficient support for current nurse faculty and adequate incentives to encourage more nurses to become faculty, nursing schools will fail to have the teaching infrastructure necessary to educate and train the next generation of nurses that the nation so desperately needs.

ANSR stands ready to work with policymakers in order to sustain and strengthen our nation’s nursing workforce. In order to ensure that our nation has sufficient and adequately prepared nurses who will provide quality care to Americans, ANSR advocates for at least $175 million in funding for Title VIII - Nursing Workforce Development Programs in FY 2007. Thank you.


The ANSR Alliance

Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses

American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing

American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

American Association of Critical Care Nurses

American Association of Nurse Anesthetists

American College of Nurse Practitioners

American Society for Pain Management Nursing

American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses

American Nephrology Nurses' Association

American Radiological Nurses Association

American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses

Association of periOperative Registered Nurses

Association of State and Territorial Directors of Nursing

Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses

Dermatology Nurses' Association

Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association

Emergency Nurses Association

Infusion Nurses Society

International Society of Nurses in Genetics

National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists

National Association of Nurse Massage TherapistsNational Association of Orthopaedic Nurses

National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

National Black Nurses Association

National Conference of Gerontological Nurse Practitioners

National Council of State Boards of Nursing

National League of Nursing

National Gerontological Nursing Association

Oncology Nursing Society

Society for Vascular Nursing

Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates

Urologic Nurses and Associates

Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society