April 11, 2007
The Honorable _____________*
Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee
United States Senate/ House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20510/20515
On behalf of the 2.9 million nurses who serve as the backbone of our nations healthcare system, the undersigned organizations are writing to respectfully request your support for increased funding in fiscal year (FY) 2008 for the Nursing Workforce Development programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Specifically, we urge you to provide $200 million for these programs to address the national nursing shortage.
As you know, an adequate supply of nurses is essential to ensuring all Americans receive quality nursing care and that our nation has the health professionals necessary to respond to natural and manmade disasters. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the HRSA Nursing Workforce Development programs support the recruitment, education, and retention of an estimated 36,750 nurses annually. This translates into the largest source of federal funding used to ameliorate the national nursing shortage, which is predicted to grow to 29 percent by 2020.
The nursing community is very concerned that the Presidents FY 2008 budget includes a $44 million cut to nursing workforce programs, including the elimination of funding for advanced nursing education programs. We urge the Subcommittee to reject the Presidents proposal and provide an overall allocation of $200 million to the nursing workforce development programs, as requested by the professional nursing community and Congressional Nursing Caucus members. With additional funding in FY 2008, these important programs will have adequate resources to address the multiple factors contributing to the nationwide nursing shortage, including the shortage of faculty a principal factor contributing to the current shortage. Advanced nursing education programs play an essential role in supporting registered nurses interested in advancing in their practice and becoming faculty. As such, these programs must be adequately funded in the coming year.
Please know that the undersigned organizations understand and appreciate that the Congress has limited resources; however, without an adequate supply of nurses to care for our aging population, the nations health care system is not sustainable. We thank you in advance for your support of our request for $200 million in FY 2008 for the HRSA Nursing Workforce Development programs. Please consider our organizations available as resources to you and your colleagues on the nations nursing shortage and related issues.
Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses
American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing
American Academy of Nursing
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
American Association of Community Colleges
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordinators
American Association of Occupational Health Nurses
American College of Nurse Practitioners
American College of Nurse-Midwives
American Nephrology Nurses Association
American Nurses Association
American Organization of Nurse Executives
American Public Health Association
American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses
Association of periOperative Registered Nurses
American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses
American Radiological Nurses Association
Association of Rehabilitation Nurses
Association of State and Territorial Directors of Nursing
Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Infusion Nurses Society
National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
National Association of Neonatal Nurses
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Black Nurses Association
National Conference of Gerontological Nurse Practitioners
National Gerontological Nursing Association
National Council of State Boards of Nursing
National Nursing Centers Consortium
National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties
National Student Nurses Association, Inc.
Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs
Oncology Nursing Society
The Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, Inc.
 HRSA, Projected Supply, Demand, and Shortages of Registered Nurses: 2000-2020
*This letter was sent by fax to every member of the House and Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittees.