Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cuts to Title VIII Nursing Programs

The House of Representatives is currently finalizing the FY 2011 appropriations process. Under consideration is a Continuing Resolution (CR), H.R. 1, which the House Appropriations Committee introduced on February 11, 2011. As the largest cut to discretionary funding for the federal government in history, this CR would reduce spending by over $100 billion from the President’s FY 2011 budget request.

Of importance to you, the CR cuts the Nursing Workforce Development Programs and Health Professions Programs (Title VII, Public Health Service Act) by $145.1 million, a 29% decrease in funding over FY 2010 levels. Additionally, the CR proposes a reduction of nearly $1 billion for the National Institutes of Health, which includes the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR).

Members of Congress must hear from the Nurse Executive Community and aspiring nurse leaders that they must protect funding for Title VIII and NINR given their unique benefits to America’s healthcare system.The vote on H.R. 1 will set the stage for future budget debates. If proposed cuts to FY 2011 are enacted, nursing education and research will be jeopardized and it will take years to recover.

Please take a few moments between now and Thursday, February 17, 2011 to send a message to your Representative asking them to preserve the federal investment in health, and in particular nursing. Most importantly, personalizing the message with mention of the hospital, system or place of employment and how cuts to the workforce programs could affect you. As an example (Did your hospital receive money through the Title VIII programs for nurse retention, grants or scholarships or loan forgiveness, did you or someone on your staff finish a Masters, or APRN training because of federal dollars?

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