As the demand for registered nurses (RNs) continues to grow in response to the aging population and increasing chronic conditions, nurses across the United States are urging lawmakers to reauthorize workforce development programs for the future of healthcare.
The Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2019 would update and improve programs and reauthorize funding for nursing education through the fiscal year 2024. The bill was referred in May 2019 to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
The bill, the largest source of federal funding for nurse education, supports nursing instruction from entry level through graduate studies. The American Nurses Association said the reauthorization of federal funding is essential to healthcare in the nation. Lawmakers, in a U.S. House of Representatives committee report, said the program is important to healthcare.
“While there is a growth in enrollment at nursing schools, enrollment is not growing fast enough to meet the projected demand for nurses. Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) includes programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support and educate nursing students and professionals through targeted grant programs,” the U.S. House of Representatives committee report said.
Federally funded nursing workforce development started as a result of Title VIII of the Public Health Services Act, a 1944 law that supported public health and healthcare professional education, and the Nurse Training Act of 1964 under President Lyndon B. Johnson.
For decades, nurses at all stages of their careers have benefited from Title VIII nursing workforce development programs, including nurses who pursue online master’s in nursing degrees. Even for nurses who are considering why they should get a masters in nursing, Title VIII provides financial benefits.
Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs
Title VIII provides financial assistance for loans, scholarships and programs to grow the nursing workforce. Throughout 2019, more than $325 million in Title VIII funding was being used in all states and territories. Some of the significant Title VIII financial assistance programs include:
Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW)
Provides financial support to nursing education programs for RNs to seek higher degrees (masters [MSN], post-masters and doctor of nursing practice [DNP]) for careers as nurse practitioners (including family nurse practitioners), clinical care specialists, nurse educators and nurse midwives, among others.
Nursing Workforce Diversity (NWD)
Provides subsidies to increase the number of culturally diverse nurses seeking BSN and advanced nursing degrees through scholarships, stipends, pre-nursing school preparation and retention.
National Nurse Service Corps and Scholarship Programs
Repays 60% to 85% of student loans in exchange for at least two years of practice in a designated facility in areas that have a critical shortage of nurses.
Nurse Education, Practice and Retention Grants
Provides funding for nursing schools, academic health centers, public and private entities and some healthcare facilities.
Nurse Faculty Loan Programs
Establishes student loan programs to support RNs seeking advanced practice nursing degrees, including MSN and DNP degrees. Graduates are expected to teach at a school of nursing in exchange for up to 85% of their loans to be canceled.
In addition, Title VIII provides financial support for specific nursing specialties:
- Geriatric Education Grants
Provides grants for geriatric-care nurse training
- Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship
Pays full or partial costs for RNs to become nurse anesthetists.
- Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program funding
Provides funding to nursing schools to increase the number of SANE-trained RNs.
Future of Title VIII
The House committee report on the reauthorization said it is crucial to the future of healthcare because an additional 203,700 nurses per year will be needed to fill newly created positions and replace nurses who are retiring.
The reauthorization request would provide annual funding for the next five years for:
- Advanced education nursing grants — $76 million
- Nursing workforce and diversity programs —$18 million
- Nurse education, practice and quality grants — $44 million
- Nurse Corps loan repayment and scholarship program — $91 million
- Nursing faculty loan repayment program — $30 million
The leading nursing schools across the United States, including the Duquesne University School of Nursing, utilize the funding to bolster nurse education for the future of healthcare. Title VIII programs not only benefit nursing education but also help the general U.S. population. The programs also benefit RNs who wonder why they should get a masters in nursing because they make higher education more accessible.
Duquesne University’s advanced nursing programs, including online masters in nursing degree programs, allow RNs to reach their full potential.
About Duquesne University’s Online MSN Program
Duquesne University’s MSN degree program prepares RNs for careers in leadership and to set new standards of care. The university’s online MSN and Post-Master’s Certificate degree programs allow nurses to continue their careers and personal lives while earning an advanced education. The school offers programs in Family (Individual Across a Life Span) Nurse Practitioner, Forensic Nursing and Nursing Education and Faculty Role.
Duquesne University provides one-on-one faculty support to encourage success at every step. Graduates are eligible to sit for certification boards, including the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCP) and American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Family Nurse Practitioner certification examinations. For more information, contact Duquesne University today.
Merkley, Burr Introduce Bipartisan Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act Of 2019: Jeff Merkley
Title VIII: Nursing Workforce Development Programs: AONL
Nursing Workforce Development: ANA
Health Professions Education Programs: Health Professionals and Nursing Education Coalition
Which nursing programs do we fund?: HRSA