Newswise — The Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN) stands firmly with our national nursing colleagues in opposing the proposed drastic cuts to the Nursing Workforce Development Programs (Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act) in the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2018 Budget Proposal. Title VIII has a significant history as a successful and life-changing program for many nurses, which in turn, impacts healthcare delivery and patient outcomes across the country. Within the budgetary proposal, all budgetary lines of the Title VIII funding are eliminated except the NURSE Corps (Loan Repayment and Scholarship program) and within the NURSE Corps line, the funding amount is substantially decreased.  

In the President’s proposed budget, the Title VIII program lines with funding eliminated include Advanced Nursing Education Grants, Nurse Faculty Loan Repayment, Nursing Workforce Diversity programming, and the Nurse Education, Practice, Quality, and Retention initiatives. Cuts to these programs and initiatives will have swift and direct negative impacts on nursing education, resulting decreased access to nursing education, and decreases in the nursing workforce, at a time when the health and well-being of our country necessitates a strong nursing workforce more than ever. These proposed cuts have the potential to disproportionately affect the safety and access to healthcare of rural and underserved populations by eliminating the support for entry level nursing education programs, and programs of education for both nursing faculty and advanced practice nurses.

In addition, within this FY 2018 budget proposal, funding is cut for the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). While nurse researchers work to strengthen evidence to support best practices and transformation of healthcare, the President’s budget proposes a decrease of nearly 24% for the NINR.

OADN, as the Premier Organization for Associate Degree Nursing, joins with nurses and nursing organizations across the country, in opposing the FY 2018 Budget Proposal.  OADN will continue to advocate for federal support for Title VIII and nursing education programs as critical to supporting the delivery of healthcare and positive patient outcomes.