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NLN Decries Continued Inadequate Funding of Nursing Workforce Development


President's Budget Unacceptable in the Face of Nurse and Nurse Educator Shortages

February 5, 2007

New York, NY—The National League for Nursing reacted with grave concern to the proposed fiscal year 2008 budget presented by President Bush today. The NLN believes that this unconscionable decrease of funding of $44 million (or 29 percent) for the Nursing Workforce Development programs authorized by Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act is shortsighted and hazardous for the overall health of the nation.

"As the nursing community has pointed out before," said NLN CEO Dr. Beverly Malone, "More than three decades ago during another less serious nursing shortage, Congress appropriated $153 million for nurse education programs, worth more than $592 million in todays dollars. And despite the critical need we face today, the Bush administration is proposing to spend only one fourth of what the federal government spent in 1974."

It is a truism that the nursing shortage cannot be dealt with successfully without addressing the concurrent shortage of nurse faculty. In this regard, the preliminary resultsfrom the NLN/Carnegie Foundation National Survey of Nurse Educators: Compensation, Workload, and Teaching Practices must be viewed as a call to action. In just one example, the study has found that one in five nurse faculty members said they were likely to retire from paid employment in five years or less; and almost one half of all nurse faculty (47.9%) said they were "likely" to retire in six to 10 years.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that nursing would have the greatest job growth of all professions in the United States in the years spanning 2002 to 2012. During this ten-year period, health care facilities will need to fill more than 1.1 million RN job openings. The Human Resources and Services Administration projects that, absent aggressive intervention, the American RN workforce will fall 29 percent below requirements by the year 2020. "It is painfully apparent," said Dr. Malone, "that nurses need to be fearless advocates for increased funding for workforce development if we are to have a chance to meet our health care needs in the coming years."

Editors and reporters: For interview opportunities, please contact NLN chief communications officer, Karen R. Klestzick, at 212-812-0376,

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