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AACN's Washington Weekly

Published May 15, 2019

Senate Introduces Nursing Workforce Reauthorization – We Need Your Help

On May 9, Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced S. 1399, the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2019, which would reauthorize Title VIII programs through Fiscal Year 2024. S. 1399 would also continue to provide support needed to ensure a robust nursing workforce that serves all communities, including rural and underserved areas. In addition to providing reauthorization of these Title VIII programs, this bipartisan legislation would:

  • Recognize all four Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) roles by including Clinical Nurse Specialists in two places, thus creating equity among the APRN roles. 
  • Include Clinical Nurse Leaders, which allows for parity with the other master’s degree programs that can apply for the Title VIII Advanced Education Nursing program.
  • Define Nurse-Managed Health Clinics, making them an eligible entity within Title VIII.
  • Extend access to Nurse Corps loan repayment programs for nurses serving in shortage areas.

The introduction of S.1399 is just the first step in this process. To advance this vital legislation we need your help! Please click here to send a message to your Senators urging them to cosponsor, and pass Title VIII reauthorization this year!

Survey Request: Assessing the Impact of Opioid Education

In conjunction with AACN’s commitment to the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic, AACN is requesting its members continue our concerted effort to combat this crisis by pledging support:

AACN Deans: Pledge your support, on behalf of your school of nursing, to address the opioid crisis. Pledge Now.

AACN Associate Deans and Faculty: Share details about what actions the school is taking to address the opioid crisis. Take the Opioid Education Survey.

Information gathered from the Opioid Education Survey will help highlight the national trends in opioid education across AACN member schools. Data collected also will help us assess the impact of AACN’s partnership with the White House to mobilize the academic nursing community in 2015, which resulted in over 200 nursing schools pledging to teach the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain to APRN students.

Student Loan Borrowers Can Expect Lower Interest Rates

For the first time in three years, federal student loan interest rates will decrease for new borrowers after July 1. Federal student loans reset annually based on the U.S. Treasury Department’s 10-year notes, however, they are fixed for the life of the loan. The 2019-2020 rates will be 4.53% for Undergraduate Direct Loans, 6.08% for Graduate Direct Loans, and 7.08% for Graduate and Parent PLUS Loans. In 2018-2019, the interest rates for these loans were 5.05%, 6.6%, and 7.6%, respectively. Although the changes only apply to new borrowers, the decrease in interest rates lowers the cost of education for the millions of students and parents who apply for federal loans.



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