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AACN's Washington Weekly

Published January 27, 2021

Biden Administration Update: New Executive Orders on Equity, Immigration, Student Financial Aid, and COVID-19

Since the Biden Administration took office on January 20, 2021, the White House has put out various Executive Orders (EO) and memorandum, including ones on equity, immigration, student financial aid, and COVID-19. Some of these presidential actions include:

  • Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government (EO 13985): Commits federal agencies to advancing “equity for all.” This includes assessments throughout the federal government to remove systemic barriers, dedicating federal resources to “to address the historic failure to invest sufficiently, justly, and equally in underserved communities, as well as individuals from those communities.” Further, this EO establishes an equitable data working group and requires an analysis be submitted to the President within six months, as coordinated by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
  • Preserving and Fortifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Memorandum): Instructs the Secretary of Homeland Security to safeguard and strengthen Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
  • Pausing Federal Student Loan Payments: Extends the pause on federal student loan payments and collections by requesting the Acting Secretary of Education to keep federal student loans at a 0% interest rate.  
  • The Biden Administration has put forth more than 11 EOs regarding COVID-19, including a nationwide face mask and social distancing mandate in federal buildings and on federal lands, reinstatement of the Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense that was created after the 2014 Ebola epidemic, a dedicated pandemic “response coordinator,” and rejoining the World Health Organization. 

Take Action: Welcome your Senators and Representative to the 117th Congress

On January 21, AACN sent a letter to U.S. Senators and Representatives welcoming them to the 117th Congress. This letter outlined our shared federal priorities, including addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and continuing support for nursing schools, deans, faculty, and students in vaccine distribution and administration efforts, as we work to bolster improvements in higher education, research, models of care, and clinical practice. Additionally, this welcome letter called for increased investments in Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development programs and the National Institutes of Health, including the National Institute of Nursing Research, to help meet the healthcare needs of our nation.

Want to send your own welcome message? Click here to contact your federal policymakers and advocate for our top priorities as we kick-off 2021.

Webinar: Learn More About Funding Opportunity for Nurses Specializing in Women’s Health

On February 2 at 2:00 pm (ET), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is hosting an informational webinar for those interested in learning more about Nurse Corps funding opportunities for nurses specializing in women’s health. For the current fiscal year, the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program has allocated up to $5 million for current women’s health nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, or certified RNs in obstetrics and gynecology. To register for this informal webinar, fill out this form.  To apply for the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program before the February 25 deadline, click here.  The Nurse Corps Scholarship application cycle is expected to open later this Spring. 

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