Skip to main content

AACN's Washington Weekly

Published April 14, 2021

Take Action: Urge Your Representative to Sign “Dear Colleague” Letter Supporting Title VIII in FY 2022

A bipartisan “Dear Colleague” letter is being circulated by House Nursing Caucus Vice Co-Chairs, Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-01) and Rodney Davis (R-IL-13), urging the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee to provide $530 million to the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development programs for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022.

We need your help today! Ask your Representative to sign onto this “Dear Colleague” letter before the April 22 deadline. The more Representatives' signatures, the stronger the case for Title VIII programs. Every signature counts! Click here to take action!

President Biden Releases Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 ‘Skinny’ Budget

On April 9, President Biden released his FY2022 ‘Skinny’ Budget, which outlines top funding priorities for the fiscal year. This budgetary blueprint calls for a nearly 16% increase to non-defense discretionary programs, including funding to address the opioid epidemic, improve readiness for future public health threats, and combat climate change, as well as other education and health care priorities. This nearly $1.5 trillion framework also includes key provisions related to AACN’s work, including:

  • Rural Health: Increase access to care by prioritizing education and training of healthcare providers, such as nurses, nurse practitioners, and nurse anesthetists, to stay and practice in rural communities;
  • Mental Health: $1 billion to address the mental health of students, teachers, and staff, including increasing the number of nurses, and other mental health professionals in schools.
  • Pell Grants: Increase the maximum Pell Grant by $400 and make this grant eligible to DACA recipients;
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH): $51 billion, which represents a $9 billion increase over the current fiscal year, to support research and to establish the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health.

As we await the release of the full Presidential Budget, we will continue to monitor the appropriations process and advocate for funding priorities that impact academic nursing. For the latest updates, please follow us on Twitter @AACNPolicy.

COVID -19 Update: College and University COVID-19 Statistics Overview

On April 9, the CDC released its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on COVID-19 and higher education COVID-19 Stats: College and University* COVID-19 Student Testing Protocols,† by Mode of Instruction§ (N = 1,849) — United States, Spring 2021. Below are key findings:

  • 548 (30%) of 1,849 public and private nonprofit 4-year U.S. colleges and universities provided classes in-person or in a hybrid format. 
  • 899 (49%) institutions provided some type of COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic students.
  • 18% (338 of 1,849) did not mention a COVID-19 testing protocol on their websites, including 146 with in-person or hybrid instruction.
  • Among institutions providing testing for asymptomatic students, 287 (32%) mandated that all students receive testing (ranging from every other day to once every other week), which did not vary by public or private, nonprofit status or by mode of instruction.

Data from college and university websites were collected by the College Crisis Initiative, Davidson College. For more information and key findings in the report, click here.

Student Loan Forgiveness for Frontline Health Workers Act Reintroduced in the 117th Congress

On April 8, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12) reintroduced the Student Loan Forgiveness for Frontline Health Workers Act (H.R. 2418). This legislation would help alleviate the burden of student loan debt for our frontline healthcare workers, including nurses. As Congresswoman Maloney stated, “These healthcare workers should not have to worry about their financial stability and be struggling to pay down their debt while fighting on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.” AACN supported this effort and will continue to monitor as it works through the legislative process.

Related News