Nursing Education to Receive Influx of Federal Funds
- 4Apr 10, '09 by Valerie Salvaschools of nursing, nursing students, nurses, and eventually patients — particularly those in underserved areas — stand to benefit from an influx of funds allocated in president obama’s recently passed economic stimulus bill. the legislation, which provides funding for nurse training and education, was supported by a nursing coalition that included the american nurses association, the american association of colleges of nursing, and the american association of nurse anesthetists.
follow the money
the american association of colleges of nursing will post information on its web site ([color=#174b8b]www.aacn.nche.edu/government/opps.htm) when the funds from the stimulus package become available and alert nursing schools and students about opportunities to apply for them. nurses interested in loan repayment programs and other funding also can visit the health workforce information center web site at [color=#174b8b]www.healthworkforceinfo.org.
distribution of healthcare funds in the american recovery and reinvestment act include —
• $200 million to title 8 (nursing workforce development programs) and title 7 (health professions training programs) for loan repayment programs, grants, and scholarships for healthcare professionals
• $300 million to the national health service corps, which offers loan repayment programs, grants, and scholarships for healthcare professionals, including advance practice nurses who agree to work in underserved areas: nhsc.hrsa.gov
• $2 billion to public health centers, including $500 million in grants for the centers and $1.5 billion for construction, renovation, and information technology
• about $11 billion to the national institutes of health for research and renovation of research buildings.
• some $2 billion to the office of the national coordinator for health information technology
• about $2 billion to the u.s. health and human services prevention and wellness fund for immunizations, community prevention programs, technology upgrades, and other programs
• about $700 million to rehabilitation and disability services and research
• $500 million to indian health services
source: propublica - [color=#174b8b]www.propublica.org/special/the-stimulus-plan-a-detailed-list-of-spending
the american recovery and reinvestment act includes some $500 million for education and training of health professionals. nursing groups are asking for at least $100 million to go to the federal nursing workforce development programs, which offer loan repayments for nurses who work in underserved areas or teach in nursing schools; grants for advanced-degree nursing programs; and grants for students from underrepresented minorities in nursing.
the stimulus funds will come in addition to $171 million allocated to the nursing programs as part of the omnibus spending bill signed march 11.
i don't agree with the "experts' " statements in the article re:what a terrible nursing shortage we have.
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- 5Apr 10, '09 by elkparkIt has bugged me to death for years now that any effort to address the "nursing shortage" always comes in the form of putting more federal $$ into nursing education -- at a time when (for some time now) new grads are leaving nursing at a higher rate than ever before (along with large numbers of experienced, seasoned nurses). The "problem" isn't how to produce more new grads -- this is simply bailing a leaky boat without fixing the leak. There's no shortage of nurses; there's simply a shortage of nurses willing to put up with the lousy pay and working conditions too many employers offer (I know, I'm preaching to the choir here!). It doesn't really matter how many kazillion new nurses we produce as long as current nurses are leaving the field in large numbers.
It's a real shame that no one concerned with the nursing "shortage" ever seems to want to come up with plans to make bedside nursing positions palatable enough for experienced nurses (and new grads) to continue working in nursing. My personal theory about this is that it's because the $$ that gets poured into nursing education is public funds, while hospitals and other employers improving working conditions, ratios, compensation, etc. would involve them spending their own money.
- 0Apr 10, '09 by stephenfnielsenWe live in an oversimplified, sound-byte culture that abhors explanations that can't be fit into a 30 second segue leading into a story about the easter bunny delivered by Katie Couric on alphabet soup nightly news.
So if President Obama (and others, to be fair) wants to drum up support for a spending bill that is going to be hard to sell to the public, he can point to oversimplified solutions to real problems that sound intuitive to the masses (ie. solve nursing shortage by spending money attracting and educating nursing students).
- 3Apr 10, '09 by hope3456I will be writing to my congressman about this. The money needs to go to hospitals to train new grad nurses!! And to retain the staff they currently have!! Nursing schools are currently graduating enough students and it sounds like many of these new nurses do not have jobs this year!!
- 1Apr 10, '09 by BBFRNIt's not necessarily oversimplified. For example: there is a bill before the House now, that will include loan forgiveness for nurses who complete MSNs or PhDs, and who teach nursing. This will definitely help decrease the nurse educator shortage, as I can tell you there is currently little financial incentive to obtain a MSN or PhD, and teach. There is little in the way of scholarships, grants, etc. for those in graduate nursing programs.
Also, most teaching positions do not pay very well, unless you have a PhD and perform research. There is no incentive for nurses to complete educational nursing grad degrees, pile up those loans (because that's mostly what you'll get in grad school), just to take a teaching position that may very well pay less than bedside nursing. Plus, our faculty are older than our bedside nurses and retiring at a faster rate, on a national average- the shortage there is going to be even worse in the coming years.
So, in a nutshell, with the particular bill I mentioned, more nurses will be apt to go into nursing education, more students will be able to enter programs, and graduate into bedside nursing jobs, thus helping to relieve the shortage.
- 2Apr 10, '09 by stephenfnielsenQuote from BBFRNThis is the rational that I see you adopting, "We need 100,000 nurses" "Okay, lets train 100,000 more nurses" "We can't, we don't have enough instructors" "Okay, let's spend some money, attract more instructors, so we can train more nurses...problem solved".So, in a nutshell, with the particular bill I mentioned, more nurses will be apt to go into nursing education, more students will be able to enter programs, and graduate into bedside nursing jobs, thus helping to relieve the shortage.
This is entirly anecdotal, but the ADN school that I am atending will be graduating about 50 nurses this year, the geographic area that the school serves will have about 15 new-grad positions available. Now here's the catch, the hospital would like to hire more new-grads, but they can't afford to. This is the result: Hospitals understaff, put more stress on the nurses that were lucky enough to find jobs- which leads to a higher turnover exaserbating the shortage.
So in my opinion if we have hundreds of millions of dollars buring a hole in our collective pocket we should be spending it on transition programs which both allow hospitals to hire more new-grads (or at least call their bluff), and increase the retention rate.
Let's fix the problem, rather than just throwing more money at failed policies.
- 0Apr 11, '09 by BBFRNQuote from stephenfnielsenOh, I wholeheartedly agree w/this. But, that's why I like loan forgiveness programs. It draws nurses to shortage areas to fulfill their agreements- to the bedside, and in education.So in my opinion if we have hundreds of millions of dollars buring a hole in our collective pocket we should be spending it on transition programs which both allow hospitals to hire more new-grads (or at least call their bluff), and increase the retention rate.