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AACN's Washington Weekly

Published February 15, 2023

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

House Committee Focuses on Higher Education and the Current State of the Education System

On February 8, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing titled, American Education in Crisis. This hearing pulled in key witnesses, including the Honorable Jared Polis, Governor of Colorado; Scott Pulsipher, President of Western Governors University; and leading experts from think tanks and other organizations. Panelists shared their perspectives on the current state of the nation’s education system, the impacts of COVID-19, and lessons learned. Returning as Chairwoman, Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC-05), also outlined her top priorities for the Committee. While many of these priorities were related to K-12, she did focus on higher education, specifically the intent to fix the current federal student loan and accountability systems, address college cost transparency, and improve the nation’s workforce development programs. To view the hearing, click here. To read the Committee’s blog post recapping the hearing, click here.

The focus on higher education continued on February 13, when Chairwoman Foxx and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Ranking Member of Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, along with more than 60 House and Senate Republicans, sent a letter to the Department of Education Secretary, Miguel Cardona, asking him to withdraw the latest proposed regulation, Improving Income-Driven Repayment for the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.  They argued that this proposal would, “turn a safety-net for low-income federal student loan borrowers into an unsustainable transfer of wealth from hardworking taxpayers to college-educated individuals.” Democratic leader and Ranking Member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA-03), responded in kind by sending his own letter supporting the proposed regulations and putting forth suggestions to strengthen benefits for borrowers.

Over the past few weeks, AACN has actively worked within this space, including submitting our own comments supporting the Department of Education’s proposed rule. AACN also signed onto a letter from the American Council on Education supporting proposed changes to the REPAYE income-driven repayment (IDR) plan under Title IV of the Higher Education (HEA) offered by the Department. These letters are coupled by ongoing conversations with congressional and committee staff, and others within the healthcare community to ensure that our voice is at the table as the Committee and this Administration examines higher education.

Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program: Toolkit and Application Now Available

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program Promotional Toolkit is now available! The toolkit makes it easy to view fact sheets, newsletters, view webinar information, and more. Additionally, HRSA is accepting applications for the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program through February 23, 2023. The program covers up to 85% of nursing education debt for registered nurses, advanced practice registered nurses, and nurse faculty. In exchange, awardees must work in a critical shortage facility or at an accredited school of nursing for at least two years. To learn more and apply today, click here.  

The Nursing Community Coalition and Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action Welcome the 118th Congress

On February 8, the Nursing Community Coalition (NCC) partnered with the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action at the Center to Champion Nursing in America to welcome the 118th Congress and celebrate Congressional nursing champions. This congressional reception united leaders on and off Capitol Hill to support our current and future nursing workforce. Attendees were joined by congressional staff and four members of Congress, including Reps. Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14), Deborah Ross (D-NC-02), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA-01), and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18). As the convener of the Nursing Community Coalition, AACN was proud to help lead these efforts as we continue to advocate for nursing education, practice, and research in this Congress. To learn more and see photos from this event, click here.

Apply Today! AACN’s Health Policy Advisory Council Seeking New Members

The Health Policy Advisory Council (HPAC) is seeking new members for the upcoming 2023 – 2025 term. To qualify, applicants must be faculty from an AACN member school. HPAC provides guidance to enhance the impact academic nursing has on policy issues related to higher education and health care from a global perspective. To learn more about HPAC and its current members, click here. To submit an application or if you have any questions, contact AACN’s Government Affairs and Policy Assistant, Nicole Huber at The deadline to apply is June 1, 2023. We look forward to receiving your application as we continue to enhance our policy efforts.

2023 AACN Student Policy Summit | March 26-27 | Registration Closes in 2.5 Weeks | Register Today

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