ANA Calls for Federal Funding to Bolster RN Training

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , September 3, 2014

About $250 million will be needed in 2015 to ensure that the nation's nursing schools can continue to produce enough registered nurses to meet the nation's estimated demand for the next seven years, says the head of the American Nurses Association.

The American Nurses Association is calling on Congress to increase federal funding by 12% to bolster programs to educate, recruit, and retain registered nurses.

Pamela F. Cipriano

Pamela F. Cipriano, RN
President of the ANA

A graying demographic is expected to need more healthcare services. Americans, including nurses, are getting older. ANA estimates that more than 40% of nurses are over age 50, the average age for a clinically practicing nurse is about 45, and 72% of nurse faculty are age 50 or older.

ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, RN, says additional funding for the Nurse Training Act (Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act), which would total about $250 million in 2015, is needed to ensure that the nation's nursing schools can continue to produce the estimated 1.1 million new registered nurses the Bureau of Labor Statistics says is needed by 2022 to replace a retiring generation of Baby Boomers.

"This has been a pretty confusing time for anyone trying to estimate labor force needs," Cipriano says. "What we have seen since the recession in 2008 is that people held on to their jobs. At the same time, nurses were experiencing a downturn in retirement funding, so many continued to work, both in the clinical and academic settings."

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6 comments on "ANA Calls for Federal Funding to Bolster RN Training"

library-healthsciences (9/5/2014 at 8:05 AM)
Thank for your article John. As you noted, and are also my concern; and in referencing Gayle's comment from 9/4/2014 – I have two comments: 1. What's happening in the schools? Are the instructors preparing nursing students for jobs in acute care hospitals? As we transition from volume to value and experience decreasing reimbursement from inpatient stays we are seeing the acute care work force decreasing. Students are unable to find jobs in acute care; hiring freezes are typical and layoffs are not uncommon. 2. As we build on population-based health and outpatient care will this fracture the nursing force as we scatter in the wind like seeds – no longer will there be strength in numbers as we do when the majority of nurses worked in acute care. How will we keep these nurses engaged and participating in groups like ANA and Unit Action Councils? Will we see wages decrease?

Victoria (9/4/2014 at 9:47 PM)
I currently just graduated from an LPN program. I live in the Long Island/N.Y area and my graduating class and I are finding it very hard to find job placement/continuing education to become an RN. With that suggestion would be to put the money toward the nurses who are LPN's and provide more "LPN to RN" bridge programs. If the LPN's became RN's, that in itself would fix "the shortage." Also, since LPN's are nurses two, as per a bridge program, it wouldn't require as much time to complete (if they did it the right way) and we would be an ADDITION to all the RN's that are currently out there. We would be able to help the current RN's by now being able to cover things that would now be in our "scope of practice", after completing an LPN-RN bridge program. Therefore, uniting nurses "as a whole" and utilizing the education that an LPN already has, instead of having a sudden wave that will end up backfiring (as it has in the past)as evidenced by the current situation in certain parts of America.

Good_Ole_Flo (9/4/2014 at 4:56 PM)
I am completely confused by this statement from the ANA. Have they lost their minds? Perhaps they are so far out of touch with the bedside nurse that they have no clue to the reality of the situation right now. MANY new grads are NOT finding jobs and if they do they re in Long Term Care. The average job search is approximately 18 months. Areas like Boston, New York, California the unemployment of nurses is 47% which consists of mostly new grads. MANY new grads are graduating new grad RN's every six months in large quantities and a sacrifice of quality. The ANA's only interest is in the making of programs to bolster job security and feed off of the poor economy but allowing students to take on enormous debt with no security of a job. Hospitals ARE NOT hiring and training new grads. They are increasing patient loads and not hiring. Nurses are facing an ever increasing unsafe patient environment and poor working conditions. THERE IS NO NURSING SHORTAGE.




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