Capital Bulletin Newsletter

American Association of Colleges of Nursing | Capital Bulletin | An Inside Look: Academic Nursing at the Federal Level

Capital Bulletin: November 2023 Edition

Educating Advocates: Appropriations & Budgets

Much of the recent news from Capitol Hill has been about funding the government. The budget process is an important responsibility of Congress and includes numerous steps and committees. The process of funding the federal government comes from the US Constitution Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 that states, “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law”. This sentence written more than 200 years ago creates a legislative duty where Congress is responsible for laws that determine how money from the Treasury is appropriated to specific departments, agencies, and programs. This work is often referred to as the “power of the purse”.

The US House of Representatives and Senate each have a Committee on Appropriations and within each committee, twelve subcommittees are tasked with the twelve annual regular appropriations bills that fund services of the federal government, including agriculture, defense, energy, transportation, and education. The twelve appropriations bills are often referred to as discretionally spending compared to mandatory spending, including Medicare and Social Security, which is funded automatically based on formulas.

To learn more about federal appropriations, follow these useful links:

Appropriations Clause of the US Constitution          Appropriations Status Table

House Appropriations Committee          Senate Appropriations Committee

October Highlights:collection of images of advocates at the Capitol Hill

At the end of October, AACN hosted the 2023 Academic Nursing Leadership Conference. Thank you to our AACN Advocates and members for your engagement in our Fall Hill Day! Below are a few highlights from the government affairs and policy perspective on the conference:

October 30: Member school deans, directors, chairs, and associate deans/directors visited more than 230 congressional offices to advocate for issues impacting academic nursing.headshot of Susan Hassmiller

The 2023 AACN Lois Capps Policy Luminary Award was presented to Dr. Susan Hassmiller! Dr. Hassmiller is a Professor of Nursing, Florida State University College of Nursing; Adjunct Faculty, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Founder and Principal, Sulu Coaching and Consulting. The annual award was created in 2009 to recognize leadership in advancing healthcare policy and the nursing profession at the federal level.

November 13: AACN signed onto a Nursing Community Coalition letter requesting at least $302.472 million for Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs and at least $197.693 million for the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) in fiscal year (FY) 2024, as outlined in the Senate Appropriations Committee passed bill.

November 15: The U.S. Department of Education released data showing how the redesigned 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form will assist students from low-income backgrounds to receive Federal Pell Grants. Read the press release here.

November 20: AACN sent a welcome letter to Dr. Monica Bertagnolli, the new Director of the National Institute of Health.

Nurses at the Table: Nominate a Nurse Today!

If you, or someone you know, has expertise or experience related to the below opportunities, please submit names and other information using this nomination form. This form will be updated as new federal opportunities arise.

Below are seven federal opportunities that are currently open for nominations:

Please join us as we work to ensure more nurses are at the federal policy table!

Federal Grants & Fellowships:

  • NHSC Students to Service Loan Repayment Program:
    • This program provides up to $120,000 in loan repayment, in return for a commitment to work full-time for three years at a clinical practice NHSC-approved site. New this year, the Maternity Care Target Area (MCTA) award of up to $40,000 has been added for those specializing in obstetrics/gynecology or family medicine physicians who practice obstetrics on a regular basis as well as certified nurse midwives. The deadline to apply is December 7, 2023.
  • Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP):
    • This program provides low interest loans for students committed to becoming nurse faculty. Loan cancellation of up to 85 percent of the original student loan amount will be authorized by the program in exchange for completion of up to four years post-graduation full-time nurse faculty employment. To learn more about the NFLP, join the webinar on December 7 from 1:30 – 3PM ET. The deadline to apply is February 5, 2024.

Mark Your Calendar!

  • AACN’s 2024 Student Policy Summit: The next Student Policy Summit (SPS) is planned for March 24-25, 2024, in Washington, DC. This two-day conference is open to all baccalaureate and graduate nursing students enrolled at an AACN member institution. Registration and information here.

Additional Resources:

Find other National and State Advocacy Resources here.

Need help testifying? Need additional materials? Have questions? Contact the Government Affairs and Policy team today!

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