Statement on President Trump’s 2018 Budget Blueprint:
“Last week President Trump proposed shortsighted, potentially devastating cuts to nursing workforce programs in his FY18 budget blueprint. As members of the advanced practice nursing community, the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists is troubled that these contractions would drastically reduce the health care workforce’s capacity to serve their patients and communities. The funding cutbacks will exacerbate a shortage of highly educated nurses, just as our country is aging and the need for care is growing.
Shrinking health profession and nursing workforce programs by $403 million would reduce patient access to nurses, particularly in rural areas which already experience shortages, while driving up health care costs. At nearly 18%, the health care industry is the largest contributor to our nation’s gross domestic product, and nurses comprise the greatest share of the nation’s health care workforce. To slash funding for programs that are investments in our high-quality health professional workforce could result in long-term adverse effects on the economy, thus diminishing our national security.
Every day across this country, clinical nurse specialists provide expert care to patients and their families, support nurses caring for patients at the bedside, help drive practice changes at their organizations, and ensure the use of best practices and evidence-based care to achieve the best possible patient outcomes. Failing to support the nursing workforce is shortsighted. We need more, not fewer, clinical nurse specialists delivering high-value care while lowering health costs by coordinating care, providing preventive services, and managing chronic diseases.
Members of Congress should reject these proposed cuts and instead maintain funding for these critical programs. NACNS will work with the nursing and health care community to make sure Congress understands the vital role these programs play in keeping our nation safe and healthy.”
Vince Holly, MSN, RN, CCRN, CCNS is the President of the 2017-2018 NACNS Board of Directors.