House Passes Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill
On July 24, the House voted 264-153 to approve $73.7 billion in discretionary funding for Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) programs in FY 2010. Funding for Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs increases by $92 million. See chart below.

Title VIII - Nursing Workforce Development Programs
(Amounts in Thousands)
Nursing Workforce
Development Programs

FY 2007
Final

FY 2008
Final

FY 2009
Final

President's
Proposed
FY 2010

House
FY 2010
Passed 7/24/09

Total

$149,679

$156,046

$171,031

$263,403

$263,403

Advanced Education
Nursing

$57,061

$61,875

$64,438

$64,438

$64,438

Comprehensive
Geriatric Education

$3,392

$3,333

$4,567

$4,567

$4,567

Nurse Education
Loan
Repayment &
Nurse Scholarships

$31,055

$30,512

$37,128

$125,000

$125,000

Nurse Education,
Practice &
Retention Grants

$37,291

$36,640

$37,291

$37,291

$37,291

Nursing Faculty
Loan Program

$4,773

$7,860

$11,500

$16,000

$16,000

Nursing
Workforce Diversity

$16,107

$15,826

$16,107

$16,107

$16,107

A Senate Appropriations subcommittee expects to consider that chamber's FY 2010 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill on Tuesday, July 28.

Please take the time to send your representative in the House a short "thank you" for supporting the increase for Title VIII - Nursing Workforce Development Programs. Click here to see how your representative voted.





        Volume 6, Issue 3
            July 2009

House Passes Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill

RWJ and IOM Team on Future of Nursing Initiative

Health Care Reform: An Update

NLN Supports Nurses' Higher Education and Loan Repayment Act

Online Health Reform Comparison Tool Updated

Are You Coming to the NLN Education Summit 2009?



Government Affairs Action Center
RWJ and IOM Team on Future of Nursing Initiative
The Institute of Medicine (IOM), in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), has established a major initiative on the future of nursing. According to the IOM, the study committee that has been established "will define a clear agenda and blueprint for action including changes in public and institutional policies at the national, state, and local levels." Its recommendations will address a range of system changes, including innovative ways to improve health care quality and address the nursing shortage in the United States.

The Initiative on the Future of Nursing, funded by a $4 million grant from RWJ, is intended as a critical examination that will lay out a blueprint for 21st century nursing. "They consider this a transformational opportunity, and they'd like a report that is transformational," said Chairwoman Donna Shalala, who was the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration and today is president of the University of Miami.

The committee held its inaugural meeting in Washington, DC on July 14, two days before nursing took the center stage as President Barack Obama announced in a pro-health care reform news conference in the White House Rose Garden, "I should disclose right off the bat, I have a long-standing bias towards nurses."

The members of the committee are: Vice Chair Linda Burnes Bolton, chief nursing officer, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles; Michael Bleich, dean, Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing; Troyen A. Brennan, executive vice president and chief medical officer, CVS Caremark Corporation; Robert E. Campbell, retired vice chairman, Board of Directors, Johnson & Johnson and former chairman, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Board of Trustees; Catherine Dower, associate director for research, Center for the Health Professions, University of California, San Francisco; Rosa Gonzalez-Guarda, assistant professor, University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies; David Goodman, professor of pediatrics and of health policy, the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice; Jennie Chin Hansen, president, AARP; C. Martin Harris, chief information officer, Cleveland Clinic; Anjli Aurora Hinman, Woodruff Fellow, Emory University and alumni chair, Health Students Taking Action Together, Inc.; Bill Novelli, distinguished professor, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University; Yolanda Partida, director, Hablamos Juntos and assistant adjunct professor, Center for Medical & Education Research in California, University of California, San Francisco; Robert Reischauer, president, Urban Institute; and John Rowe, professor of health policy, Columbia University and former chairman and CEO of Aetna; and Bruce C. Vladeck, senior advisor, Nexera Consulting.

Although the IOM's official announcement was full of references to the ongoing health care reform efforts in Congress, the nursing initiative report will not be completed until fall 2010, theoretically well after the self-imposed deadlines for reform legislation. Organizers say they want the report to have its impact when whatever reform legislation becomes law starts being implemented.

When the committee begins its formal inquiry — which will analyze past reports, new data sets, and public dialogue from three town hall-style meetings — experts say one of the key subject areas they will discover is the tension between nurses and their fellow health care workers in defining the scope of work. RWJ specifically charged the committee with investigating whether advanced practice nurses should perform more primary-care services.

In addition, the study committee will examine and make recommendations on:

  • reconceptualizing the role of nurses in the context of the workforce, the shortage, societal issues, and current and future technology
  • expanding nursing faculty, increasing the capacity of nursing schools, and redesigning nursing education to meet current and future health care demands
  • examining solutions in health care delivery and health professional education
  • attracting and retaining well prepared nurses in multiple care settings, including acute, ambulatory, primary care, long term care, community, and public health

The IOM and RWJ hope the study commission and the eventual readers of the report remain open to innovative solutions to problems that have been widely discussed in the past. "The issue is how do we really shift the paradigm so that we can rid ourselves of this waxing and waning of shortages, and at the same time prepare [nurses] for the 21st century needs that patients have?" stated Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, the RWJ Foundation president and CEO.

Health Care Reform: An Update
Since mid-June, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee has been marking up the Affordable Health Choices Act (Kennedy Bill). The HELP Committee recently completed its markup and a new draft of the bill is expected to be released shortly.

Senate Finance Committee members reached tentative agreement on several important health care policy questions on July 20. But Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) did not say which issues were resolved and he declined to offer a timeline for a committee markup or an agreement. On July 23, Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) announced that the full Senate will debate and vote on health care overhaul legislation after it returns in September from a month-long recess.

The three House committees with jurisdiction over health care reform — Energy & Commerce, Education & Labor, and Ways & Means — all held hearings on their "Tri-Committee" bill in late June. The bill has been marked up and reported out by Education & Labor and Ways & Means. Energy & Commerce is still working on its markup. House leadership is talking about a floor vote before the August recess, but the likelihood of that happening grows dimmer each day.

President Obama wants to sign a health care reform bill into law by November. In order to meet this deadline, health care reform legislation must move through the committee and floor processes in the House and Senate by the end of September with the conference process completed during October.


SHORTS . . .

NLN Supports Nurses' Higher Education and Loan Repayment Act

Representatives Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Tom Latham (R-IA) have introduced legislation that would establish a federal student loan repayment program for nurses who obtain a graduate degree in nursing and agree to teach full-time at an accredited nursing school for at least four years. The Nurses' Higher Education and Loan Repayment Act of 2009, H.R. 1460, would repay up to $40,000 in student loans for nurses who obtain a master's degree and up to $80,000 for those who receive a doctoral degree. A companion bill — S. 1022 — was introduced in the Senate by Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). The NLN supports both bills. More information on the bills can be found on the NLN's Government Affairs Action Center at http://capwiz.com/nln/home.

Online Health Reform Comparison Tool Updated

The Kaiser Family Foundation has updated its health reform gateway page (www.kff.org). The site's side-by-side comparison tool now includes detailed summaries of new comprehensive health reform legislation proposed by the three key House committees (known as the "Tri-Committee" bill) and by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. With these additions, the interactive online comparison tool now allows comparisons of nine major congressional health reform proposals.

Along with the Tri-Committee and Senate HELP committee bills, the proposals include those from: the Senate Finance Committee; Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Richard Burr (R-NC) and Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Devin Nunes (R-CA); Representative John Conyers (D-MI); Representative John Dingell (D-MI); Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT); Representative Pete Stark (D-CA); and Senators Roy Wyden (D-OR) and Bob Bennett (R-UT). The tool also includes a summary of President Obama's reform principles. The foundation will continue to update the tool to reflect major new proposals and any significant changes to the plans already introduced.

Are You Coming to the NLN Education Summit 2009?

Ease on down the road a little earlier and help meet an NLN core competency integral to your advanced practice role as a nurse educator: to develop leadership skills to shape and implement change; and to participate in interdisciplinary efforts to address health care and educational needs locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally.




Half-Day Pre-Summit Workshop D
Nurses as Citizens:
Sharpen Your Activist Skills;
Engage Your Students in the
Political Process

Philadelphia Marriott/Wednesday, September 23/12:00 - 3:45 pm



As faculty, you are change agents and leaders. This government affairs workshop will help you meet an NLN core competency integral to your advanced practice role as a nurse educator: to develop leadership skills to shape and implement change; and to participate in interdisciplinary efforts to address health care and educational needs locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally. NLN government affairs director Kathi Ream and senior public policy specialist Terri Nally will introduce basic knowledge, skills, and attitudes of effective advocacy. A hands-on Internet exploration of NLN government affairs policies and resources is featured. Registrants must bring laptop with WiFi-compatibility to workshop.

 
 
National League for Nursing | The Voice for Nursing Education | 61 Broadway, 33rd Floor, New York, NY 10006 | www.nln.org
Newsletter contact Kathleen A. Ream, Director, Government Affairs
Phone: 703-241-3947 | Email: kream@nln.org

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