“President Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2017 includes important investments in nursing education and nursing workforce development programs, but those investments really should be much larger to address the national nursing shortage.
“Federal Nursing Workforce Development Programs provide training for entry-level and advanced degree nurses to improve the access to, and quality of, health care in underserved areas. And, Title VIII nursing education programs are fundamental to the infrastructure delivering quality, cost-effective health care.
“Current federal funding falls short of the amount needed to address the health care inequities facing our nation today. The funding proposed for Title VIII isn’t enough to generate quality health outcomes, nor will episodic increases in funding fill the gap generated by a more than 15- year nurse and nurse faculty shortage that has been felt throughout the U.S. health system.
“NACNS believes that the deepening health inequities, inflated health care costs, and modest quality of health care outcomes in this country will not be reversed until the concurrent shortages of nurses, advanced practice registered nurses, and qualified nurse educators are addressed. Without national efforts of some magnitude that are commensurate with the stark reality of the state of health care in our nation, the negative impact on the nation’s health care system and our nation’s health of under resourced nursing education will be difficult to avoid.
“As an association of advanced practice registered nurses who work to implement evidence- based care, NACNS is disappointed in the low level of funding for the National Institute for Nursing Research (NINR). Investing in the science that drives evidence-based nursing practice is as important to health care as building a robust nursing workforce. Research projects funded through NINR are aimed at reducing burdensome chronic illness, improving quality of life, and promoting patient-centered care. From this perspective, NINR’s unique focus on health promotion and disease prevention provides the cornerstone for advancing health and wellness.
“We would hope that Congress would recognize these realities and make greater investments in health care for the coming fiscal year.”
Peggy Barksdale, MSN, RN, OCNS-C, CNS-BC is the President of the 2015-2016 NACNS Board of Directors.