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 the budget proposal on February 9, 2016, and appreciates President Obama'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. While ANA appreciates the Administration’s call for critical health care investments in other areas, the organization will continue to advocate for appropriate Title VIII funding levels.
VA To Release Proposed Regulation on APRNs
The Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Health Administration has been considering an updated policy to allow advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) working in the VHA to practice to their Full Practice Authority. On January 8th, his regulation was formally transmitted to the Office of Management and Budget and is now under review.
OMB clearance of the rule is required before VA can publish this regulation for public comment in the Federal Register. We won’t know what this regulation says, or the specific actions VA is proposing, until the regulation is published for public comment. Once published, the nursing community and others will have an opportunity to review the proposed regulation and weigh in. Clearance and publication will likely take place sometime in the next few months.
House Spending Deal Includes Title VIII Program Funds
Under the announced agreement, Title VIII, which includes funds for advanced education, loan repayment, and scholarship programs for nurses, would receive just under $230 million. This represents an overall decrease of $2.15 million compared to 2015. The deal would mean an increase of $1 million for The Advanced Education Nursing Program and of $1.35 million for the NURSE Corps Loan Repayment and Scholarship programs. See here for more details (PDF).