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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 865 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 Applauds New Legislation to Secure Future Investments in Nursing Education & Practice

Published June 10, 2015

AACN Applauds Representatives Capps and Joyce for Introducing Legislation 
to Secure Future Investments in Nursing Education and Practice

WASHINGTON, DC, Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - Today, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) expresses great appreciation to Representatives Lois Capps (D-CA) and David Joyce (R-OH), co-chairs of the House Nursing Caucus, for introducing the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2713). Keeping America healthy demands an investment in the nursing workforce, including clinicians that provide direct patient care and the faculty who educate them. As the largest segment of the healthcare workforce, nurses are central to the team of providers who create, maintain, and promote a patient-centered healthcare delivery system.

“For over fifty years, the Nursing Workforce Development programs have supported quality education for nurses, who in turn provide high-quality care in the community,” said AACN President Eileen T. Breslin. “Title VIII is an essential federal program that supports the health of America through nursing care, particularly in our rural and underserved communities.”

The intent of the legislation is to reauthorize the Nursing Workforce Development programs (Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act) through FY 2020. Additionally, the legislation includes four technical changes. In particular, it identifies and defines clinical nurse specialists, highlights the clinical nurse leader role, and adds the definition of nurse-managed health clinics. 

“AACN is delighted to work with our champions on Capitol Hill to move this legislation forward,” said AACN CEO Deborah Trautman. “For many of our member schools, these programs are a lifeline that bolster their mission and increase their ability to attract new nurses and faculty to the field. The end result is far-reaching as the recipients go on to practice in all corners of the country.”

The Title VIII programs have been at the forefront of AACN’s advocacy initiatives since the association started 46 years ago. AACN believes that workforce development and the creation of evidence-based research to transform care delivery is paramount to meeting America’s healthcare needs. This legislation is a long-term investment and also propels the profession forward to meet changing healthcare needs. Title VIII programs focus on workforce diversity, the aging population, primary and acute care, as well as interprofessional education and practice– all healthcare priorities needing immediate and ongoing attention. 

“An investment in the nursing workforce of today is an investment in access to healthcare tomorrow,” Capps said. “Title VIII is critical to meeting our nation’s rapidly growing demand for nursing services and getting highly-skilled care to the communities most in need. As a nurse for over 30 years, I know there is no better investment in the health of our communities and the future of our health care system.”

“As the husband of a full-time nurse, I know how important nurses are to their patients and all aspects of care” said Representative Dave Joyce (OH-14). “Their leadership, compassionate care, and team approach to healthcare delivery is why nurses are the most trusted profession in America. Title VIII helps sustain a nursing workforce with sufficient numbers to keep America’s healthcare system running smoothly.”  

AACN joins the Nursing Community, a coalition of 61 national nursing organizations, in support of this legislation. This legislation has a clear goal – establishing funding opportunities for the future generation of nurses. For more information on the Title VIII programs, AACN advocacy work, and our policy statements see:

For more information from Representatives Capps and Joyce see: