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About the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for academic nursing representing 825 schools of nursing nationwide. AACN establishes quality standards for nursing education, influences the nursing profession to improve health care, and promotes public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. 

AACN Calls for Strong Investments for Preparing the Nursing Workforce in Light of the President’s FY 2017 Budget

Published February 09, 2016

AACN Calls for Strong Investments for Preparing the Nursing Workforce 
in Light of the President’s FY 2017 Budget

WASHINGTON, DC, February 9, 2016 - Today, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)called for stronger investments regarding proposed funding levels outlined in President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Budget that would impact the nursing workforce, critical healthcare research, and ultimately, the delivery of care across the nation.
 
The President’s budget includes a level of $229 million (level funding with FY 2016) for the Nursing Workforce Development programs (Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act). For over five decades, the Title VIII programs have been instrumental in supporting the pipeline of registered nurses, advanced practice registered nurses, and nursing faculty, as well as supporting academic institutions. This level funding for Title VIII is a concern at a time when our nation’s nursing schools are challenged with maximizing student enrollment. Moreover, the growing demand for increased access to high-quality, cost-effective care in certain geographic regions and to vulnerable populations requires a larger investment in nursing workforce programs to increase the number of registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses who provide that care.
 
The President’s Budget also proposes $146 million (level funding with FY 2016) for the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) within the National Institutes of Health, which funds the science necessary to improve practice across all communities. AACN urges the Administration to expand its commitment to sustaining the robust contributions of nursing scientists. For all of NIH, the package would include a total of $33.1 billion (an increase of $1.05 billion over FY 2016), which echoes the Administration’s continued dedication to expanding healthcare and biomedical research in an era of innovation.

“As we consider how to create a healthier nation rooted in team-based care, it is imperative that the American nursing workforce is bolstered by federal support for nursing education and research programs that advance the profession,” said AACN’s Board Chair Eileen T. Breslin. “Though we applaud the Administration’s ongoing commitment to nursing education and research, academic nursing leaders must continue to impress upon policymakers the need for stronger support.”
 
Other investments that have been outlined in the President’s budget includes one billion dollars to address the opioid epidemic. AACN commends the Administration’s commitment to increasing resources to combat this crisis. Last October, AACN pledged to partner with the White House on this initiative by educating 15,000 faculty members and students on opioid abuse prevention and treatment over the next two years. The budget also includes investments for new initiatives, including a response to address the Zika Virus and the Cancer Moonshot priority to eliminate cancer.
 
Despite the complex fiscal climate in which Congress is tasked with making challenging decisions about federal programs, AACN believes that it is imperative that nursing education and research programs receive maximum support so that quality of health and health care is improved. In late March, AACN member deans, faculty, and students will be present in our nation’s capital to educate Congress about the need for continued investments in healthcare education and research programs. These efforts will maximize the ability of the nursing workforce to provide evidence-based care across the nation.

For more information on the President’s FY 2017 Budget, see:https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Overview.

For more information on the FY 2017 HHS Budget-in-Brief, see:http://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/fy2017-budget-in-brief.pdf.

For more information on AACN’s Appropriations advocacy, see: http://www.aacnnursing.org/Policy-Advocacy/Federal-Activity/Legislative-Activity/Appropriations.