Newswise — WASHINGTON, DC, May 9, 2019 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) applauds the introduction of S. 1399 Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2019 by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC).
"We commend the efforts of our Senate Nursing Champions for introducing this vital legislation during National Nurses Week," said Dr. Ann Cary, Chair of AACN's Board of Directors. "As I have witnessed firsthand, Title VIII programs are a strong investment in nursing education and workforce and help to ensure that the next generation of nurses are prepared to address the healthcare needs of our nation today and in the future."
For over 50 years, Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development programs have consistently and continually built the supply and distribution of highly educated nurses by strengthening nursing education at all levels, from entry preparation through graduate study. Title VIII programs provide grants, loans, and scholarships to help prepare the next generation of nurses and ensure that we have a qualified and diverse set of providers. This bipartisan legislation would reauthorize the Nursing Workforce Development programs (Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act) through Fiscal Year 2024 and align them with current priorities for the profession.
"As the husband of a nurse, I've seen close-up how difficult their jobs are and how important they are to patients," said Merkley. "Nurses support and advocate for patients at some of the most difficult moments of their lives. Now, it's our turn to support the nurses in each of our communities, by investing in the training and workforce development that is key to the future of this critical profession."
“Every day, nurses provide care and compassion to families during their greatest time of need,” said Senator Burr. “Whether it’s a routine checkup or a major medical crisis, nurses are on the frontlines of health care. This bill updates nurse education, training, and retention programs so nurses across the country can continue their life-saving work, and ensures the next generation of nurses are ready for their exciting careers. I am proud to reintroduce this legislation to enhance our nursing workforce with my colleague, Senator Merkley.”
"Title VIII Nursing Workforce programs serve a vital role to our nation by attracting new nurses and faculty into the nursing profession," said Dr. Deborah Trautman, AACN President and Chief Executive Officer. "AACN looks forward to working with our Senate Nursing Champions to advance and pass this critical legislation."
AACN joins the Nursing Community — a coalition of 62 national nursing organizations — in support of this legislation. For more information on the Title VIII programs, AACN advocacy work, and our policy statements, see AACN's Policy and Advocacy web page.