Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act Advances Out of House Subcommittee

Published June 27, 2018

Today, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) commends the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health for advancing the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2017 (H.R. 959) to the Full Committee for further consideration and for their tireless dedication to our nursing workforce. The Title VIII Programs are successful in increasing the number of nurse faculty and the supply of nurses needed to meet the healthcare needs of our nation, both now and in the future.

Nursing Caucus Co-Chair, Representative David Joyce (R-OH) recognizes, “Being a nurse is truly hard work. As the husband to a nurse, I understand the great detail, training, and education that goes into their daily work to keep patients safe and healthy. As the House Nursing Caucus Co-Chair, I am proud to see the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee advance my legislation, the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2017, to expand access to nursing workforce programs so our nurses can provide the greatest quality care to patients across the country.”

Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Co-Chair of the House Nursing Caucus, said: “Nursing shortages across the country are straining care, especially in our rural and underserved communities, endangering patient health and well-being, and driving up healthcare costs. In the next two years alone, the U.S. is on track to face a shortage of roughly 200,000 nursing professionals. Reauthorizing federal funding for vital programs that provide nurses with training, education, and financial support will expand access to quality healthcare for our communities. I urge Congress to pass these bipartisan bills so we can build a 21st century healthcare workforce that meets the needs of our future.”

AACN members and leadership have actively engaged to advance the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act by meeting with members of Congress and testifying before key committees. On  April 26, Dr. Ann Cary, Chair of the AACN Board of Directors, highlighted the personal impact Title VIII investments had on her career and as a nurse educator before the House Appropriation Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. Last September, Dr. Julie Sebastian, then Chair of AACN’s Board of Directors, discussed the value of Title VIII programs to increasing the healthcare workforce and expanding access to care before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health. In the Senate, Dr. Julie Sanford, dean of the James Madison University School of Nursing and member of the AACN Government Affairs Committee, continued this message by testifying before the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee on the immense value nursing workforce programs have on students, faculty, the profession, and within communities.  In addition to these efforts, AACN membership has been instrumental in voicing support for these programs by sending 450 messages to over 170 different Congressional offices on the importance of passing the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act.

AACN applauds the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health Chairman Michael Burgess (R-TX) and Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX) for their commitment to move H.R. 959 forward.  Furthermore, AACN, commends the sponsor of H.R. 959, Representative David Joyce (R-OH), along with the original cosponsors, Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), and Kathy Castor (D-FL), for championing this legislation in the House. AACN also recognizes the House Nursing Caucus co-chairs, Representatives David Joyce (R-OH) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), as well as the vice co-chairs, Representatives Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), for their continued dedication to the nursing profession and the health of our nation.

AACN remains committed to advancing the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act in Congress and will continue to monitor this legislation as it moves through both the House and Senate. Passing this legislation will ensure that nursing education and the workforce can continue to meet the demands for healthcare services where they are needed most.