“This week President Trump unveiled his final FY18 budget proposal and it contained shortsighted, devastating cuts to health and nursing programs that if enacted will have harmful and lasting effects for millions of Americans.
As members of the advanced practice nursing community, the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists is deeply troubled that the administration would propose slashing funding for nursing workforce development in HRSA’s Health Professions and Nursing Training Programs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rural health and substance misuse prevention programs and eliminating the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Community Services Block Grant.
The demand for nurses, especially advanced practice registered nurses, is growing. Eliminating and cutting essential programs would drastically reduce the health care workforce’s capacity to serve their patients and communities and could reduce economic growth over the long term. The Trump Administration’s suggested funding cuts will exacerbate a shortage of highly educated nurses, just as our country is aging and the need for care is growing.
Every day across this country, clinical nurse specialists provide expert care to patients, 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 nursing workforce development is ill-considered. Cuts of this magnitude would cause irreparable harm to access to care.
We need more, not fewer, clinical nurse specialists and other advanced practice registered nurses delivering high-value care while lowering health costs by coordinating care, providing preventive services, and managing chronic conditions.
Thankfully, President Trump’s budget proposal is only a recommendation to Congress. We will work with the nursing and health care community to urge Members of Congress to reject these proposed cuts. We need to maintain and increase funding for these critical programs that play a vital role in keeping our nation safe, healthy and on the right track for growth.”
Vince Holly, MSN, RN, CCRN, CCNS, ACNS-BC is the President of the 2017-2018 NACNS Board of Directors.