U.S. House Passes Build Back Better Act, which IncludesHistoric Funding for Nursing Education

WASHINGTON, DC – November 19, 2021 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) commends the U.S. House of Representatives for including major investments in nursing education in the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376), which passed earlier today.

AACN celebrates the inclusion of $500 million for schools of nursing in underserved areas. This groundbreaking initiative provides funding to help enroll and retain nursing students, recruit and retain diverse nursing faculty, expand clinical education opportunities, and modernize nursing education programs.

“Today marks a momentous occasion as the House of Representatives responds to our nation’s need to strengthen nursing education infrastructure, especially as we continue to combat COVID-19 and work to advance health equity,” said Dr. Susan Bakewell-Sachs, Chair of the AACN Board of Directors. “These crucial resources will have a direct and positive impact on our nursing schools, faculty, students, and the patients they serve.” 

In addition, the House-passed Build Back Better Act includes $500 million for the Nurse Corps, which will support scholarships and loan repayment assistance for nurses at healthcare facilities with a critical shortage and nurse faculty at accredited schools of nursing. Further, this bill invests $170 million to grow and diversify the nursing workforce in maternal and perinatal health as well as address other public health and mental health priorities. 

“We thank the House of Representatives for recognizing the essential connection between nursing education and America’s health,” said Dr. Deborah Trautman, AACN President and Chief Executive Officer. “We urge the Senate to retain and pass these crucial academic nursing provisions during their consideration of this legislation.” 

AACN expresses sincere gratitude to Congressional leadership, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, our champions on the House Nursing Caucus, and our nurses in Congress, including Representatives Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30) for their steadfast commitment to nursing education and the profession. As the legislation heads to the Senate, AACN remains deeply committed to ensuring these meaningful and historic investments are ultimately signed into law. 

For more information on AACN’s government affairs work, visit AACN’s Policy and Advocacy page.