June 25, 2007
The Honorable Carolyn McCarthy
United States House of Representatives
106 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative McCarthy:
On behalf of the American Nephrology Nurses' Association (ANNA), I am writing to thank you for introducing the Nurse Faculty Higher Education Act (H.R. 2384) and the Teacher and Nurse Support Act (H.R. 2621) critical bills that will help address the national nursing shortage. We commend your efforts to address the nursing and nurse faculty shortage through these legislative initiatives.
ANNA is a professional nursing organization of more than 12,000 registered nurses practicing in nephrology. ANNA members are intimately involved in the supervision and delivery of care to adults and children with kidney disease. Our members work in a variety of settings including dialysis facilities, transplant centers, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) clinics, acute care, ambulatory clinics, and long term care. ANNAs purpose is to advance nephrology nursing practice and positively influence outcomes for patients with kidney disease through advocacy, scholarship, and excellence.
As you know, the nation is facing a serious nursing shortage as the number of people requiring high-quality health care continues to increase. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has projected the demand for nurses will grow by at least 29 percent by the year 2020. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that more than 1.2 million new and replacement nurses will be needed by 2014. Complicating the crisis further is the fact that nursing schools are struggling to expand student capacity and increase the pipeline of registered nurses. Each year schools of nursing turn away thousands of qualified applicants, primarily due to a shortage of nurse faculty. Last year alone, nursing schools turned away 42,866 qualified applicants to baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs due to an insufficient amount of faculty.
Given the significant challenges that are inhibiting the education of adequate numbers of registered nurses, we believe that both the Nurse Faculty Higher Education Act and the Teacher and Nurse Support Act are necessary to help curb the causes of the nations nursing shortage. We appreciate your recognition of the critical role the nurse faculty shortage is playing on the current nursing shortage.
Your leadership on this issue is very much appreciated; and we applaud you and your staffs efforts to advance solutions that provide educational and financial relief for the individuals and institutions that are actively working to increase the number of nurses and nurse educators. Please do not hesitate to contact us or our Washington representative, Jim Twaddell (202-230-5130 or firstname.lastname@example.org) if we can be of any assistance to you or your staff.
Sandy Bodin, MA, RN, CNN
American Nephrology Nurses Association