| Washington, DC, February 13, 2018 —
The National League for Nursing (NLN), representing nurse educators at every level of higher education, strongly opposes President Donald J. Trump's budget proposal as one that ultimately threatens the health and safety of our nation. "By this administration's decrease in the FY 2019 budget, crucial funds to train the nurse and nurse educator workforce," asserted NLN CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN, "has put at risk programs of critical value to the preparation of the next generation of nurses and the recruitment, training, and retention of nurse educators responsible for nursing workforce development."
Added NLN President G. Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN, FAAN, professor and associate vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion/chief diversity officer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: "For more than fifty years, HRSA's Title VIII nursing workforce development programs have provided grants for the training of entry-level and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to improve access to and quality of health care for all communities, in particular those in rural and otherwise underserved areas of the country where disproportionate numbers of vulnerable, marginalized individuals and families reside. This federal investment ensures we will continue to have the foundation vital to the education of the next generation of nursing students and faculty to handle the care and welfare of our nation."
Eliminating $145 million in Title VIII nursing program funding is counter intuitive to securing the health and safety of our nation. In practical terms, what the proposed budget reduction would mean for nursing programs: less money for faculty recruitment and retention efforts; facility and equipment acquisition; clinical lab enhancements; loans, scholarships, and services that enable students to overcome obstacles to completing their nursing degrees or certificates.
"The 'Domino Effect' of a reduction in the Title VIII funding should be obvious, particularly when it comes to the safety of the nation" observed Dr. Alexander. "A smaller pool of nurse educators translates into fewer qualified applicants gaining acceptance to schools of nursing, which in turn, reduces the number of nursing graduates prepared to deliver quality health care, not just today but for years to come. Nurses are the surveillance system in healthcare systems. Fewer nurses means less safety."
"While we are pleased that the administration has included funding for opioid addiction and mental health, in a year we have experienced one of the worst flu epidemics on record and as opioid addiction has reached crisis levels, we can ill afford to ignore the public health demands that call for more, not less, support for nurses and nurse educators, who are on the frontlines of health care delivery," Dr. Malone reflected.
"The League remains concerned about the long-term implications of this budget on our country and will, therefore, continue to advocate for federal investment in programs that educate nurses. Not only is an investment in nurse education essential to the health and well-being of our nation, but it is also vital for the security of our nation and the global community," she concluded.
About the National League for Nursing
Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The NLN offers professional development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 40,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members. NLN members represent nursing education programs across the spectrum of higher education, and health care organizations and agencies.
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