President Proposes Increased Funding for Nurse Loan Repayment & Scholarship Programs

  1. AACN Applauds the President's FY 2010 Budget Request

    President Proposes to Increase Funding for Nurse Loan Repayment and Scholarship Programs from $37 Million to $125 Million

    WASHINGTON, DC, May 7, 2009 - Today, President Obama released his FY 2010 Department of Health and Human Services Budget that provided specific details on the funding levels he has proposed for nursing education and research programs. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is thrilled that the Administration provided $263 million for the Nursing Workforce Development Programs (Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act) and $144 million for the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR).

    The proposed funding for Title VIII programs represents a 54% increase over the FY 2009 level of $171.03 million. The greatest increase was awarded to the Nurse Loan Repayment and Scholarship Programs, which received $125 million, a 238% increase over last year's funding level. The Nurse Faculty Loan Program received $16 million, a 39% increase over the FY 2009 level of $11.5 million.

    "President Obama is a true champion for nursing. This proposed funding allocation marks a historical point for nursing education, recruitment, and retention," said AACN President Fay Raines. "If the President's request passes Congress, it would be the highest allocation these programs have received since created in 1964. AACN will work diligently with our top nursing advocates in the House and Senate to see this funding level enacted."

    The President's request would offer significant relief to help alleviate the 11-year national nursing shortage that is projected to grow in the coming years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nursing is the nation's top profession in terms of projected job growth with more than 587,000 new nursing positions being created through 2016. The demand for nurses will continue to grow as the baby boomer population ages, experienced nurses retire, and the need for primary and specialty health care intensifies. BLS projects that more than one million new and replacement nurses will be needed by 2016.

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    About VickyRN

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    Nurse Educator; from US
    Specialty: 16 year(s) of experience in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds


  3. by   VORB
    Who's going to pay for it?

    As an American taxpayer, I am against ALL increases in spending, including this. Where does it stop? I'm afraid to speculate.
  4. by   KittyKat19
    Who's going to for it if the president doesn't do this?
    I'd rather pay for this with my taxes than with the lives of patients neglected because they're aren't enough nurses.
    It's great to see such a commitment to nursing education!
  5. by   studentCL2009
    This is a positive thing and I think it is great. This will lead to more citizens being able to afford nursing school and will lead to more jobs all around. I think it is great. Investing in education is wonderful. I think that this money would be wisely spent in the nursing programs and student nurses.
  6. by   momandstudent
    This is purely wonderful that he feels such a strong commitment to the nursing profession. Maybe we are finally going to get our voices heard...this deserves a whoop and a holler of THANKS. Our profession needs to be recognized as that-a profession of loving, dedicated, smart, and caring individuals and this may lead the trend!!! Finally, someone realizes how important (and needed) we are to the lives of our fellow citizens.
  7. by   cjcsoon2bnp
    Quote from VORB
    Who's going to pay for it?

    As an American taxpayer, I am against ALL increases in spending, including this. Where does it stop? I'm afraid to speculate.
    I understand your thoughts, I don't realy like increases in spending either but I think for this particular expenditure I agree with President Obama. I guess my thought is that I would rather spend more now and know that later on when I am hospitalized someday I will feel better knowing that there are enough nurses to help take care of me. I think we need to be really careful about our spending but its going to take a while to fix our economy after Bush ran it into the ground over the course of 8 years.

  8. by   HonestRN
    I think the idea is great however it appears that there is no nursing shortage. Tons of new grads are posting how they can't get jobs. Perhaps a better approach would be to make nursing a more attractive profession with better working conditions.
  9. by   Halinja
    Maybe I'm missing something here. But it seems to me that the shortage in nursing is not that people cannot afford nursing school. Or not even that nurses can't afford to go BACK to school to become instructors. We're turning away qualified applicants in droves who have a way to pay for their education. The bottleneck is the lack of instructors. And yes, I saw something about nursing education 'loans'. Okay. but what we need to do is pay educators more. If a nursing instructor made as much as a floor nurse, the nursing programs would get more qualified instructors. Then they could take on more students, and turn out more nurses. Of course, the nursing programs can't AFFORD to pay more for instructors. Nursing school isn't a big money maker for colleges. Rather the reverse.

    So how does this money address that? I'm confused.
  10. by   ElvishDNP
    Have to say I agree w/ you, Halinja. It's a nice thought, but most schools in my area are operating @ full capacity and cannot expand because they cannot find nor pay instructors. I've thought about it, but I'd much rather work 24 hrs/week weekend option and be able to pay my bills than work twice that for less money.
  11. by   ANnot4me
    I would also bet it will only benefit new nurses and not some of the nurses who are in their forties and still paying off their loan. In fact, the funding that usually is made available for these deals is usually trivial and still cheaper than hiring a more experienced nurse.
  12. by   chicarn
    Something wrong with this picture, Guys NO NURSING SHORTAGE exists and I think it never existed. It is the hospitals BS to load nurses with more patients. I'm new grad I get job in a crappy hospital after months of job hunting. Half of my classmate still waiting for job. In my area, most the hospitals are in hiring freeze. I think that the governments should set a safe nurse-patient ratio and favorable working environment fisrt then assess if there is shortage. Nurses need to have avoice. If there is shortage or not it should be us in bedside to decide if we need more nurses or not. Not someone with his pijama in his bedroom. Please stop repeating what the hospitals lobbies and media are saying. we should clean up the mess first. "better pay and good working environment" is the priority right now.
  13. by   stephenfnielsen
    WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!! I've said it before and I'll say it again. The problem is not in the mass production of nurses, it is in the mass retention of nurses. Mark my words Mr. President, if you spend $125,000,000 to train 1,000,000 nurses and at the end of the day 1,000,000 nurses quit their jobs YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING BUT WASTE MONEY!!! I tip my hat to our president and find him to be one of the smartest people in our great country, but this reeks of political calculation at a time where much good might be accomplished.
  14. by   KittyKat19
    Isn't it possible that there is both a nursing shortage AND that many nurses (new grads especially) can't get hired? Nurse staffing seems to be a big problem, as it affects both patient care and retention of nurses. This is a problem that will need to be addressed from many different angles, this being one of them. Another would be mandating nurse to patient ratios. Just because this won't solve every problem doesn't mean it's a cynical political calculation. I have faith in our president, but also in nurses to keep telling him what's what. Yeah, we need more nurses, and we need better retention, and we need better nurse to patient ratios, and we need universal healthcare, and we need better incentives for nurses to become faculty.... this addresses some of those goals.