Press Room

House Passage of Nursing Workforce Bill a ‘Major Step to Improve the Nation’s Health

Statement of National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS)
Board President Anne Hysong, MSN, APRN, CCNS, ACNS-BC

“The House of Representatives took a major step to improve the nation’s health today by reauthorizing the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Act of 2017 (H.R. 959) and by affirmatively including clinical nurse specialists – expert clinicians with advanced education and training in a specialized area of nursing practice – in the bill. This legislation will bolster the country’s nursing workforce by supporting education for a new generation of nurses and nurse leaders. With our health care system in transition, and health care needs growing due to our aging population, the fact that people are living longer but with more chronic health problems, and the shortage of primary care providers, we need to do all we can to support nurse education.

“According to a news release issued by the House Energy and Commerce Committee today:

This bipartisan bill will amend Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) to reauthorize nursing workforce development programs, which support the recruitment, retention, and advanced education of skilled nursing professionals. The bill also extends advanced education nursing grants to support clinical nurse specialists and clinical nurse leaders, defines nurse-managed health clinics, adds clinical nurse specialists to the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education, and reauthorizes loan repayments, scholarships, and grants for education, practice, quality and retention.

“We thank Rep. David Joyce (R-OH), the lead sponsor of the bill, and urge the Senate to act quickly to pass its version, S. 1109 and President Trump to then sign it into law without delay. A strong and well-prepared nursing workforce with highly educated nurses who can practice to the full extent of their education and training is essential to improving the country’s health.”

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Founded in 1995, The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists is the only association representing the clinical nurse specialist (CNS). CNSs are advanced practice registered nurses who work in a variety of specialties to ensure high-quality, evidence-based, patient-centered care. As leaders in health care settings, CNSs provide direct patient care and lead initiatives to improve care and clinical outcomes, and reduce costs. NACNS is dedicated to advancing CNS practice and education, removing certification and regulatory barriers, and assuring the public access to quality CNS services.

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