Newswise — WASHINGTON, DC, October 28, 2019 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) commends the U.S. House of Representatives for unanimously passing H.R. 728, the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2019. This overwhelming support represents an important step towards reauthorizing vital programs that bolster nursing education, prepare the next generation of nurses, and support communities across the country.
AACN is especially grateful to the lead sponsor of H.R. 728, Representative Dave Joyce (R-OH), as well as the original cosponsors, Representatives Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Kathy Castor (D-FL), David McKinley (R-WV), and Lauren Underwood (D-IL) for their diligent work and steadfast commitment to the nursing profession.
"I constantly see the deep and meaningful impact Title VIII programs have on nursing students, faculty, and our communities" said Dr. Ann Cary, Chair of the AACN Board of Directors. "These programs are vital to ensuring we have a robust and diverse nursing pipeline, especially in rural and underserved areas."
"As the proud husband of a nurse, I know full-well that nurses are the backbone of our nation's health care system," said Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14), Co-Chair of the Congressional Nursing Caucus. "Any challenge they face hurts the health and wellbeing of the American people. That's why I introduced the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act. With our nation on the verge of a nursing shortage that will leave far too many without the care they need, we must ensure that those interested in pursuing a career in nursing have access to the education and training opportunities necessary to do so. I thank the American Association of Colleges of Nursing for their support in this effort, applaud the House for passing this important legislation and urge the Senate to act quickly so we can get it signed into law as soon as possible."
AACN would also like to highlight the extraordinary work of the House Nursing Caucus, including Co-Chairs, Representatives Dave Joyce (R-OH) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), as well as, the Vice Co-Chairs, Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Rodney Davis (R-IL). This victory is a testament to their unwavering devotion to increasing the health and wellbeing of our nation through the nursing lens. We also applaud the work of House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR) for their leadership and stewardship in supporting nursing education and this vital legislation.
"Nursing students, faculty, and deans celebrate the fact that H.R. 728 has passed the House," said Dr. Deborah Trautman, President and Chief Executive Officer of AACN. "We appreciate the commitment the House of Representatives has shown in continually supporting this critical legislation."
"There is a dire need of nurses all across this country, with rural and underserved communities most negatively impacted. Nurses are the heartbeat of our healthcare system, and this shortage is a crisis that impacts everyone," said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. "This bill will help make it easier to educate, train, and grow the number of nurses across the country. The Senate must quickly take up and pass our bipartisan bill so that we can build the 21st Century nursing workforce we need."
AACN looks forward to continuing work in the Senate to advance their version of the bill, S. 1399, introduced by nursing champions, Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Richard Burr (R-NC), and ultimately seeing this vital legislation signed into law.
About the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for academic nursing representing 825 schools of nursing nationwide. AACN establishes quality standards for nursing education, influences the nursing profession to improve health care, and promotes public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research and practice. See www.aacnnursing.org.