Letter from ANNA and other nursing organizations to Congress requesting adequate funding for the “Nurse Reinvestment Act” and other essential nursing workforce programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration

September 28, 2005

United States Senate/House of Representatives

Washington, DC  20510/20515

Dear Senator* / Representative**:

The nursing organizations listed below are writing to express our concern regarding reports that funding for the “Nurse Reinvestment Act” and the other nursing workforce programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) could be funded in a Continuing Resolution (CR) at the lowest amount allocated in the House-passed version of the FY 2006 Labor-Health and Human Services (LHHS) Appropriations bill.  The House FY 2006 LHHS Appropriations bill included a $670,000 cut to these important programs. 

While we appreciate that the nation faces unprecedented fiscal and public health challenges, we remain very concerned that without adequate funding for nursing workforce initiatives, our nation will fail to educate and train enough qualified nurses who can provide quality care to a growing population of people in need.  The recent emergencies in the Gulf Coast region highlight the importance of ensuring that the nation has a health care infrastructure in place to respond and recover from such disasters.  Nurses represent the largest group of health care providers who will be called on to respond to an emergency, disaster, or mass-casualty event.  Given the recovery efforts associated with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, it seems particularly relevant now to ensure an adequate supply of all levels of nurses, who are often front-line, first-responders in the case of national emergencies.  Unless steps are taken now, the nation’s ability to respond to a natural or intentional disaster will be impeded by the growing nationwide shortage. Therefore, we urge you to provide adequate funding for the “Nurse Reinvestment Act” and the other essential nursing workforce programs at HRSA in any CR and respectfully request that you preserve in any funding measure the $5 million increase in FY 2006 funding contained in the Senate Appropriations Committee-passed version of the LHHS Appropriations bill.

We recognize that the nation must make sacrifices to recover and rebuild the Gulf Coast region, but not at the expense of programs that ensure the nation has an adequate supply of nurses to meet current and future needs.  Please know that we stand ready to work with you and your colleagues as the FY 2006 appropriations process comes to a close. 


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 Occupational Health Nurses, Inc.

American College of Nurse-Midwives

American College of Nurse Practitioners

American Nephrology Nurses' Association

American Nurses Association

American Organization of Nurse Executives

American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses

Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses

Dermatology Nurses' Association

Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association

Emergency Nurses Association

Infusion Nurses Society

National Association of Nurse Massage Therapists

National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

National Conference of Gerontological Nurse Practitioners

National Council of State Boards of Nursing

National League of Nursing

National Nursing Centers Consortium

National Student Nurses Association

Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs

Oncology Nursing Society

Society of Trauma Nurses

*Letter was sent to each member of the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies:

Arlen Specter (PA)

Thad Cochran (MS)

Judd Gregg (NH)

Larry Craig (ID)

Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX)

Ted Stevens (AK)

Mike DeWine (OH)

Richard Shelby (AL)

Tom Harkin (IA)

Daniel Inouye (HI)

Harry Reid (NV)

Herb Kohl (WI)

Patty Murray (WA)

Mary Landrieu (LA)

Richard Durbin (IL)

**Letter was sent to each member of the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies:

Ralph Regula (R-OH)

David R. Obey, (D-WI)

Ernest J. Istook, Jr. (R-OK)

Steny H. Hoyer, (D-MD)

Roger F. Wicker, (R-MS)

Nita M. Lowey, (D-NY)

Anne Northup, (R-KY)

Rosa L. DeLauro, (D-CT)

Randy "Duke" Cunningham, (R-CA)

Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)

Kay Granger, (R-TX)

Patrick J. Kennedy, (D-RI)

John E. Peterson, (R-PA)

Lucille Roybal-Allard, (D-CA)