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NLN Board of Governors Takes Faculty Shortage to the Hill


Specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds. Has 16 years experience.

On May 12, the NLN Board of Governors took to Capitol Hill. They met with their individual congressional delegations and advocated for increased funding for Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs, especially for remedies directed at the nursing faculty shortage. At most of the approximately 45 offices visited, members of congress and their legislative assistants were unaware of the faculty shortage and the effect that it was having in their particular states.

Armed with facts and figures, the board members took on the role of advocates. In their visits, they noted that:

Federal investment in nursing education is less than one-tenth of 1% of the total federalbudget.

In 1974, during the last serious nursing shortage, Congress appropriated $153 million for nurse education programs. In today's dollars that would be worth $592 million, approximately four times what the federal government is spending now.

During the 10-year span from 2002 to 2012, health care facilities will need to fill more than 1.1 million
job openings.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) projects that, absent aggressive intervention, the
workforce will fall 29 percent below requirements by the year 2020.

The number of full-time faculty needed to "fill the nursing gap" may be as high as 40,000.

Currently, fewer than 20,000 full-time faculty are in the system.

An estimated 125,000 applications were turned away from nursing programs at all levels for the academic year 2003-2004. (Preliminary report was released by the NLN in December 2004).

NLN Nursing Education Policy (June 2, 2005)


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