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NLN Opposes Cuts to Nursing in the President's Budget

March 12, 2019

For Immediate Release Contact: Christine Murphy
NLN Opposes Cuts to Nursing in the President's Budget

Washington, DC, March 12, 2019 — The National League for Nursing (NLN), representing nurse educators at every level of higher education, again strongly opposes the President's budget proposal due to its near elimination of funding to nursing programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). "Unfortunately we are once again disappointed in the President's funding decrease for programs that help educate nurses and nurse educators as it threatens the health and safety of our nation," asserted NLN CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN.

NLN President G. Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN, FAAN, associate vice-chancellor/chief diversity officer and professor at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill added "Nurses often serve as primary care providers for vulnerable populations and are critical agents in treating and educating patients, families, and caregivers. Simply put nurses are the surveillance system in our health care system."

Dr. Malone continued "The federal investment in nursing education ensures we have the necessary foundation vital for the preparation of the next generation of nursing to handle the care and wellness of our nation. This decrease is especially troubling given the public health emergencies last year which included an unusually severe flu season, two major hurricanes, and the deadliest fire season in California's history. It is absolutely critical to maintain the nation’s public health infrastructure of which nurses are a vital component."

For over 50 years, HRSA's nursing programs have provided grants for the training of entry-level and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to improve the access to, and quality of, health care for all communities. Schools of nursing around the country use these competitive grants to strengthen education programs, including 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 education programs.

"Eliminating $166 million below the enacted funding level for the Title VIII nursing programs is counterintuitive to producing a high quality-nursing workforce ready to meet the health care needs of the 21st century. These grants allow NLN member schools of nursing to hire more nurse educators which in turn allow schools of nursing to accept and educate more qualified nursing student applicants. This increases the pool of nurses who provide direct health services to patients in all communities especially in rural and underserved communities," stressed Dr. Alexander.

Dr. Malone concluded "Every dollar in reduced funding for nursing programs prevents the country from meeting current and future nursing demands. The NLN will continue to advocate for serious investment in nursing education programs essential to the well-being of our nation."

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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