NLN Endorses Nursing Faculty Bills

Specialties Educators


July 29, 2005

In separate letters dated July 25, 2005, the NLN endorsed two legislative measures aimed at alleviating the nursing faculty shortage. The first - H.R.3173, the Nurse Faculty Higher Education Act - was introduced by Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) on June 30, 2005. This bill creates a pilot program to increase the number of graduate educated nurse faculty. H.R.3173 would provide scholarships to nurses who seek advanced degrees in order to become faculty in an accredited nursing program. It also provides grants to hospitals and health facilities to support institutions that permit qualified nurses to earn a salary while they continue their education. Nurses participating in this program would continue to work part-time or flexible schedules to accommodate their schooling. Upon completion of the program, each nurse would be required to teach two years for each year of support received under the program. Funding for the pilot program would come from Title VII of the Higher Education Act. H.R.3173 has been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

The second bill - the Nurse Faculty Education Act of 2005 - would authorize a demonstration project to increase the number of doctorally prepared nurse faculty. This legislation will be introduced shortly by Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM). In its endorsement of the measure, NLN's CEO Dr. Ruth Corcoran stated, "Despite the passage of the Nurse Reinvestment Act in 2002, schools of nursing continue to suffer from a growing shortage of faculty, which prevents these institutions from admitting more students. Preliminary results from a report released by the NLN in December 2004 show that an estimated 125,000 applications were turned away from nursing programs at all levels for the academic year 2003-2004. The lack of qualified faculty to teach these students is the primary reason that their applications were not accepted." Funding for this bill would be under Title VIII - Nursing Workforce Development Programs.

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