Cuts to Nurse Faculty Loan Program in 2007 Budget?


WASHINGTON, DC, February 15, 2006 – Today, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) announced its support for the continuation of federal funding for nursing education included in President Bush’s FY 2007 budget proposal. Though the president called for the elimination of other programs that prepare health professionals, funding for nursing was requested at the current level ($150 million) for Nursing Workforce Development programs (Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act).

Though funding for nursing would be maintained, AACN is concerned that the Nurse Faculty Loan Program may not be adequately funded. This loan repayment program was created to address the growing shortage of nurse educators needed to expand capacity in programs preparing new nurses. According to AACN’s latest data, 32,617 qualified students were turned away from entry-level baccalaureate nursing programs last year due primarily to insufficient numbers of faculty. Over 75 percent of schools surveyed cited the faculty shortage as the primary barrier to increasing enrollment.

“By increasing funding to prepare nurse educators, Congress will pave the way for nursing schools nationwide to accept more students, expand enrollments, and graduate more entry-level nurses,” added Dr. Bartels. “Legislators must make funding graduate level nursing education a top priority by increasing support for the Nurse Faculty Loan Program and endorsing new initiatives to address this crippling shortage.”

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