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UPDATE (2/9/2016):

President Obama’s final budget prompts praise and pause from the American Nurses Association

The American Nurses Association (ANA) recognizes the many critical investments put forth in today's budget proposal and appreciates the President's continued commitment to strengthening our nation's health care system. ANA, however, maintains concerns over the framework’s inadequate support for vital nursing workforce development programs.

The President's budget recommends $229.5 million for Nursing Workforce Development Programs (Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act), representing a continuation of FY 2016 enacted levels. Title VIII provides critical federal grants for nursing schools and organizations to advance their educational programs, promote diversity in the field, repay loans for nursing students who work in facilities with critical shortages, and train geriatric nurses.

Title VIII funding plays a critically important role in recruiting the next generation of nurses, addressing the faculty shortages facing the profession, and ensuring we are building a highly trained workforce that can meet the challenges of a fast-growing and evolving health care system.

Despite concerns about Nursing Workforce Development Program funding, ANA appreciates the Administration's call for critical health care investments in other areas, including:

While ANA recognizes the budgetary considerations that lie ahead for appropriators in Congress, we believe that bold efforts to cure cancer, stem the opioid epidemic, protect against the Zika virus, expand access to mental health services and other fundamental challenges are worthy investments. Tackling these important initiatives requires a strong, highly trained health workforce. With that in mind, ANA will continue to advocate for appropriate Title VIII funding levels.

About The Issue

Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development programs provide the largest source of federal funding for nursing education, offering financial support for nursing education programs, individual students, and nurses.

Title VIII programs bolster nursing education from entry-level preparation through graduate study. According to HRSA, between FY 2006 and 2012 alone, these programs provided loans, scholarships, and programmatic support to over 450,000 nursing students and nurses.

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Title VIII Fact Sheet (8/2015)

Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act amendment (H.R. 2713)

ANA's Testimony House Labor HHS Committee (3/2014)

House Dear Colleague FY 2016