Published Oct 6, 2002
Immediate Action Needed: Urge Congress to Fund the Nurse Reinvestment Act
On August 1, 2002, President George W. Bush signed the Nurse Reinvestment Act into law. The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) and the American Nurses Association (ANA) fought for its passage. While this legislation marks a major victory for nursing, the fight is not over. Funding must be provided to make the intent of the law a reality.
We need your help to obtain program funding. Please contact your Congressional Representative, and Senators to request that $250 million be provided to fund the Nurse Reinvestment Act programs.
With sufficient appropriation, the law could fund:
* Loan repayment programs, grants, and scholarships for nursing students;
* Public service announcements to encourage people to enter the nursing profession;
* Career ladder programs for advancement within the profession;
* Best practice grants for nursing administration as modeled after ANA/ANCC's magnet program to facilitate workplace improvements, staff satisfaction, and nurse retention;
* Long-term care training grants to develop and incorporate gerontology curriculum into nursing programs; and
* faculty loan repayment program for nursing students who agree to teach at a school of nursing.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be openings for more than one million nursing positions between now and 2010. The aging of the U.S. population - lead by the retirement of the baby boom generation - is expected to cause an increase in demand for nursing services. Therefore, numerous studies project a national shortage of RNs beginning now.
The nursing shortage has been tied to changes in patient care, emergency department overcrowding, emergency department diversions, increased surgery wait times, discontinued patient care programs or reduced service hours, delayed discharges, and canceled surgeries. Patient care will continue to suffer as the shortage worsens.
THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW. Congress is scheduled to begin action on Appropriations bills starting in September. Call 202-224-3121 and ask to speak with your Senators and Representative.
Need to find out who represents you in the House? Go to http://www.congress.org.
Message to Congress:
(may copy & paste)
"The growing nursing shortage will soon reach critical proportions. Now that the Nurse Reinvestment Act has become law, registered nurses and patients are relying on you to fund it. Please provide $250 million in funding for Fiscal Year 2003 to make the programs authorized in the law a reality."
Include your name, title & address in your note so your representative can validate your consitituency and respond.>>
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