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AACN's Washington Weekly

Published July 21, 2021

American Association of College of Nursing - Washington Weekly - Your Inside Track to Federal Policy

House Appropriations Committee Advanced Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Spending Bill

On July 15, the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS-ED) funding bill by a vote of 33-25. If fully enacted, this funding bill would provide historic increases for Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs and the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), including:

Increases in three fundings areas for FY22 House Appropriations -   $314.472 million for Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs, this is a $50 million or 18.91% increase over the FY 2021 funding levels.cted funding levels; $200.782 million for NINR, a nearly $26 million increase over FY 2021; and $49 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a $6.5 billion increase over FY 2021.

During the full committee markup, several members, including Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV-03), and one of the Registered Nurses in Congress, Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14), highlighted the needs for investment in nursing education and the workforce, including Title VIII programs. The Committee Report also considers the impact of COVID-19 on our nation’s nursing and healthcare workforce; strengthens master’s programs, including those in nursing at Historically Black Colleges and Universities; supports the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) program; and advances gun violence research and mental health.

Currently, the House is expected to take up this funding bill as part of a minibus package as early as next week. AACN will monitor this progress as the appropriations process continues. To read AACN’s press release on this historic investment, click here. For information on AACN’s advocacy work, visit AACN’s Policy and Advocacy page and for more detailed funding numbers for priority programs, see AACN’s FY 2022 Appropriations funding chart.

AACN Submits Recommendations for NINR’s 2022-2026 Strategic Plan

On June 14, AACN submitted recommendations to the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) for consideration in NINR’s 2022-2026 Strategic Plan. The recommendations were in response to NINR Director, Dr. Shannon Zenk’s, request to nursing organizations to provide feedback and insight as they work to develop their organization’s strategic plan. AACN outlined three key recommendations including:

  • Encouraging NINR to consider expanding its funding in four key areas, including:
    • Research and communication to increase knowledge relating to social, behavioral, and environmental determinants of health and health equity;
    • Research that broadens the focus on outcomes to include value and cost;
    • Research related to nursing interventions and systems, to include implementation science and informatics research; and Research focused on anti-racism and equity efforts, as well as research that engages diverse populations (such as varied racial/ethnic backgrounds, geographies, and genders);
  • Urging the inclusion of nurse researchers from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, communities, and regions; and
  • Supporting nurse scientist engagement across NIH institutes and settings.

For more details and to read the official recommendations, click here.

HRSA Grants Available to Address Resiliency and Burnout Among the Healthcare Workforce

On July 16, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced approximately $103 million in American Rescue Plan funding to address the mental health needs of the healthcare workforce, including nurses, over the next three years. This federal funding includes approximately $68 million, or 30 awards, for the Health and Public Safety Workforce Resiliency Training Program to educate the next generation of practitioners on best practices to promote mental health, reduce burnout, and enhance wellbeing. Eligible entities for this training program funding include health professions schools, academic health centers, and state or local governments, among others. To learn more about other available grants, eligibility requirements, and additional information, click here. To apply before the August 30, 2021 deadline, click here.

Temporary Changes to Federal Student Aid Verification Process Announced for Upcoming School Year

Earlier this month, the Department of Education announced temporary changes to the federal student aid verification progress for the 2021-2022 academic year to help aid students and borrowers impacted by COVID-19. In fact, the Department of Education estimates that, “targeting verification this aid cycle can help approximately 200,000 more students from low-income backgrounds and students of color enroll in college and continue on the path to a degree.” This verification process requires students to submit additional financial documentation to further prove their income status and generally is required for recipients of Pell Gants, which are an important source of funding for lower-income and underrepresented students. For more information on the update verification process, click here.