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AACN's Washington Weekly

Published February 10, 2021

Act Today: Congress Reintroduced the FAAN Act as Work Continues on COVID-19 Relief

On February 4, Senate Nursing Caucus Co-Chair, Jeff Merkley (D-OR), along with Representatives and Registered Nurses, Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30), reintroduced the Future Advancement of Academic Nursing (FAAN) Act (S.246/H.R.851). The FAAN Act would invest $1 billion into schools of nursing to ensure nursing education pathways remain strong during public health challenges, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the FAAN Act would support schools of nursing and academic nursing infrastructure by providing resources to: 

  • Enroll and retain nursing students; 
  • Support educational programs, including creating and modernizing curriculum and establishing nurse-led intradisciplinary and interprofessional educational partnerships;  
  • Hire and retain a diverse faculty to educate the future nursing workforce; 
  • Modernize technological and educational infrastructure;
  • Support schools of nursing, in partnership with facilities that provide health care, to establish or expand clinical education and; 
  • Support schools of nursing as they help prepare future nurse scientists and researchers who are essential as health challenges arise.

Click here to send a message to your Senators and Representative today, as committees in the U.S. House of Representatives are already marking up COVID-19 relief budget reconciliation legislation. Let’s make sure the FAAN Act is in the mix!

Biden-Harris Administration Updates

As we continue the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris Administration, below are a few updates that impact academic nursing and areas for continued support and engagement.

  • Letters to Federal Agencies Regarding Implementation of Executive Order 13996: Last week AACN’s Policy Team sent out letters to the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, Education, and Homeland Security as they begin to implement the “Executive Order on Establishing the COVID-19 Pandemic Testing Board and Ensuring a Sustainable Public Health Workforce for COVID-19 and Other Biological Threats." View these letters here
  • HRSA Offers School-Based Loans for Nursing: The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has announced four different loan programs available for public schools and universities. The loan programs will provide funding to schools offering fixed, low interest rate loans to students in healthcare disciplines. The Nursing Student Loan Program is specifically designed to provide funding to schools for students in nursing disciplines. Applications will be accepted until Thursday, February 25, 11:59 p.m. ET.  For more information, visit HRSA School-Based Loans.
  • HHS Announces Marketplace Special Enrollment Period in Response to COVID-19: In accordance with Executive Order 14009: "Strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act," the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced a Special Enrollment Period from February 15 to May 15 to allow individuals and families in states with Marketplaces to enroll in 2021 health insurance coverage. For more information, visit To enroll, visit

National Academy of Medicine Publishes New Resources on Healthcare Worker Burnout

In December 2020, the National Academy of Medicine put out new resources to accompany their 2019 report titled: Taking Action Against Clinician Burnout: A Systems Approach to Professional Well-Being. This report addresses burdens affecting the healthcare workforce following research that between 35-54% of nurses and physicians in the U.S. show substantial burnout symptoms. The newly published materials include healthcare leader resources, systems approach resources, and policymaker resources. To read these materials, click here.

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