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AACN's Washington Weekly

Published May 26, 2021

AACN Highlights Academic Nursing Infrastructure Priorities

On May 13, AACN sent a letter to Congressional leadership and key committees outlining the essential role academic nursing plays in preparing current and future providers, supporting nurse scientists and researchers, and improving the health of the nation. As Congress continues to invest in public health and higher education infrastructure, AACN urged the following legislative priorities be included in any package:

  • Support nursing education infrastructure by passing the Future Advancement of Academic Nursing (FAAN) Act (S.246/H.R.851).
  • Increase support for mental health resources and services to students, faculty, and the workforce.
  • Sustain and preserve federal student loan programs and support loan forgiveness legislation, such as the Student Loan Forgiveness for Frontline Health Workers Act (H.R. 2418).
  • Invest in research infrastructure by passing the Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act of 2021 (S.289/ H.R.869) and through ongoing data collection efforts, such as NIH’s All of Us Research Program.

While negotiations remain underway for a more traditional infrastructure package, conversations on how best to support public health and higher education priorities is ongoing. AACN will continue to monitor the discussions and advocate for these vital priorities.

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Launched: Offers Discounted Broadband Service

As students and faculty continue to learn and work in virtual environments, AACN recognizes the importance of ensuring broadband capability and accessibility, especially for those students and families struggling to afford internet service. Recently, the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Education launched the Emergency Broadband Benefit program where eligible participants can receive a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband services and a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a computer from participating providers. Eligibility criteria include Pell grant recipients, individuals with lower income, or those that have experienced recent job loss. Learn more or apply for the program here.

Congress confirms HHS Deputy Secretary Andrea Palm

On May 11, the Senate confirmed Andrea Palm to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in a bipartisan 61-37 vote. Deputy Secretary Palm’s background includes her work as a social worker, the Secretary-designee for Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and her work in the Obama Administration. On May 24, AACN sent a letter welcoming the Deputy Secretary and extending our sincere interest in working with her and her staff toward supporting the current and future nursing workforce. View this letter and other AACN welcome letters to recently confirmed Administration officials here.

Apply to the 2021 Faculty Loan Repayment Program by July 1! For more details on how to apply, click here.