Letter from the Nursing Community to the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee requesting that they make a significant investment in nursing education by supporting a comparable fund...

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July 26, 2010

Senator Tom Harkin
Chairman Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, and Education
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Senator Thad Cochran
Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, and Education 
Committee on Appropriations 
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510 

Dear Chairman Harkin and Ranking Member Cochran:

On July 15, 2010, the House Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee proposed $292 million for nursing education in their draft Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 bill. On behalf of the Nursing Community, a forum of professional nursing organizations representing over 850,000 Registered Nurses (RNs), Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), nurse faculty, nursing students, and nurse researchers, the 48 undersigned organizations are writing to request that the Senate LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee make a similarly robust investment in nursing education.

As one of the largest dedicated sources for nursing education, the Nursing Workforce Development programs (Title VIII, Public Health Service Act) help support the supply and distribution of nurses, particularly to rural and underserved areas. RNs and APRNs are vital to ensuring direct availability to high quality, cost-effective health care. At a time when nearly 30 million individuals will soon have access to health insurance as a result of the health reform law, RNs and APRNs will be in great demand in all areas of our nation. A strong commitment to Title VIII will be needed so there are enough nurses to provide preventative and life-saving health services.

By investing in the Title VIII programs, the Subcommittee will provide the necessary funds for

  • nursing students who rely upon this support to complete their degree and offset their considerable educational expenses,
  • APRNs who provide critical primary care and specialty services,
  • nurse faculty to help create the new pipeline of nurses as well as,
  • retention, diversity, and geriatric nursing programs.

In particular, the Nursing Community requests that the Advanced Education Nursing, Nursing Workforce Diversity, Nurse Education, Practice, and Retention, and Comprehensive Geriatric Education programs benefit from the proposed increase awarded in proportion to their FY 2010 funding level.

The Nursing Community appreciates the level of funding the House LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee provided to support nursing education. We thank you in advance for your consideration and support of a comparable funding level for Title VIII in your bill.

Sincerely,

Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses
American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
American Academy of Nursing
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
American College of Nurse Practitioners
American College of Nurse-Midwives
American Nephrology Nurses' Association
American Nurses Association
American Organization of Nurse Executives
American Psychiatric Nurses Association
American Society for Pain Management Nursing
American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses
Asian American and Pacific Islander Nurses Association
Association of Community Health Nursing Educators
Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
Association of periOperative Registered Nurses
Association of Rehabilitation Nurses
Association of State and Territorial Directors of Nursing
Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service
Dermatology Nurses' Association
Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association
Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association
Infusion Nurses Society
International Association of Forensic Nurses
International Nurses Society on Addictions
International Society of Psychiatric Nursing
National American Arab Nurses Association
National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
National Association of Hispanic Nurses
National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Black Nurses Association
National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations
National Nursing Centers Consortium
National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties
National Student Nurses’ Association, Inc.
Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs
Oncology Nursing Society
Philippine Nurses Association of America, Inc
Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association
Public Health Nursing Section, American Public Health Association
Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates
Visiting Nurses Associations of America
Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society

Cc: Senator Daniel Inouye, Chairman, Senate Appropriations Committee
Senator Thad Cochran, Vice Chairman, Senate Appropriations Committee
Senator Herb Kohl
Senator Patty Murray
Senator Mary Landrieu
Senator Richard Durbin
Senator Jack Reed
Senator Mark Pryor
Senator Arlen Specter
Senator Judd Gregg
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison
Senator Richard Shelby
Senator Lamar Alexander