Published January 06, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 6, 2020 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) commends Congress and the President for passing and signing into law H.R. 1865, the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020. This bipartisan spending bill represents a strong investment by Congress in policies that positively impact nursing education and research.
In fact, H.R. 1865 provides $259.972 million for the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs in fiscal year (FY) 2020, a $10.5 million increase over FY 2019 levels. Title VIII programs are crucial federal investments that impact the profession's ability to serve America's patients in all communities, especially those most in need; bolster diversity within the workforce; and increase the number of nurses trained to serve our aging population.
"AACN applauds the House of Representatives and United States Senate for investing in nursing research and education," said Dr. Ann Cary, Chair of AACN's Board of Directors. "As an early-career recipient of Title VIII funding myself, I know firsthand how important these funds are in providing educational opportunities and ensuring exceptional nursing care."
This investment in the workforce is complemented by a funding increase to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). NIH saw a $2.6 billion increase, resulting in a total budget of $41.684 billion for FY 2020. NINR received $169.113 million, $6.121 million more than was appropriated in FY 2019. These significant investments allow nurse scientists to continue achieving cutting edge innovations on several fronts, including precision health, data science, and genomics.
Additionally, H.R. 1865 provides $12 million to establish the Loan Repayment Program for Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Treatment Workforce. AACN is a strong supporter of this program and is pleased to see funding allocated to ensure our nurses, and others within the SUD workforce, have additional resources aiding them in expanding access to critically needed care.
AACN also was pleased to see $25 million appropriated for gun violence research, representing the first appropriations for these programs in more than 20 years. This funding will help to ensure life-saving research can provide a framework for creating timely and appropriate responses to gun violence.
In addition to an increased budget for the Department of Education, AACN was grateful to see the maximum Pell Grant increase from $6,195 to $6,345 for the 2020-2021 academic year.
"From Title VIII to Pell Grants and gun violence research to SUD loan repayment, H.R. 1865 invests in vital programs that are indispensable to academic nursing and the science that shapes nursing practice," said Dr. Deborah Trautman, AACN President and Chief Executive Officer. "On behalf of AACN, we are deeply grateful to Congress for increased funding of these essential programs."
AACN thanks the following champions, along with the full Senate and House Appropriations Committees for their continued commitment to nursing education and research: Senate and House Appropriations Chairs Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY), Vice Chair Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Ranking Member Representative Kay Granger (R-TX); – Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee Chairs Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT); and Ranking Members Patty Murray (D-WA) and Tom Cole (R-OK). We look forward to working with the Administration to continue strong investment in academic nursing in 2020 and beyond.
For information on AACN's advocacy work and more detailed funding numbers for priority programs, see AACN's Appropriations web page.