Published June 02, 2021
WASHINGTON, DC – June 2, 2021 – Late last week, President Biden released the Administration’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Budget. This budget proposes a 16% increase to non-defense discretionary programs, including additional resources to essential programs under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Education. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) supports these investments as the federal government continues to respond to COVID-19 and recognizes the instrumental role nursing education plays in preparing our current and future nursing workforce. Further, AACN recognizes that reinforcing the importance of academic nursing and public health, while working to create a more equitable system, provides a short-term infusion of much needed resources that will build a stronger foundation for the overall health of our nation.
In FY 2022, the Biden Administration recommends $267.972 million for Title VIII Nurisng Workforce Development Programs, which includes level funding for most programs and a $3.5 million increase in Nursing Workforce Diversity grants. Additionally, the critical research underway at the National Institutes of Health would see major investments at approximately $52 billion, including the launch of a new agency to help drive transformational research breakthroughs. The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) budget also would see approximately $24.819 million, or a 14.2%, increase, bringing the total for NINR to $199.755 million in FY 2022. Out of the overall allocation for NINR, $20 million would be dedicated to addressing health care disparities throughout the nation. These funding levels reflect an overall 23.4% increase in the HHS budget from FY 2021 enacted levels.
“Restored funding to Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs, increased focus on diversity and inclusion within the profession, and bold support of nursing research are positive steps as the nation emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and charts a path forward,” said Dr. Susan Bakewell-Sachs, Chair of the AACN Board of Directors. “Strengthening public health infrastructure, prioritizing mental health, including for our students, and advancing innovative research, offer us opportunities for transformative change that can benefit our schools, faculty, and students to ultimately benefit society as a whole."
In addition to proposed increases to nursing workforce and research programs, the budget also focuses on education. In fact, the Department of Education would receive $102.8 million in the President’s budget, a 41% increase over last fiscal year. This additional funding includes initial steps toward doubling Pell Grants, increases support to help close the racial gap in higher education, and funds other recruitment and retention efforts.
“Over the past year, we have witnessed how schools of nursing, deans, faculty, and students have answered the call through tracking and tracing efforts, administering vaccines, and educating their communities,” said Dr. Deborah Trautman, President and Chief Executive Officer of AACN. “With the release of the President’s FY 2022 Budget, I am encouraged to see continued investments that will help prepare our future nursing workforce.”
AACN, is also proud to to see an ongoing focus on fighting public health challenges, such as the opioid epidemic, increased funding for gun violence research, and additional support for mental and public health infrastructure. As we continue with the budgetary process, AACN remains committed to working with Congress to boldly increase critical funding for Title VIII programs, invest in nursing education infrastructure, and support innovative research at NINR in FY 2022 and beyond.