American Association of Colleges of Nursing Opposes Cuts to Healthcare Workforce and Education in 2019 Budget

American Association of Colleges of Nursing Opposes Cuts to Healthcare Workforce and Education in 2019 Budget

Earlier this week, the Trump Administration released its 2019 Fiscal Year budget, proposing major cuts to federal programs in the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has openly opposed these cuts out of concern about the impact it would have on the nation’s progress in educating the healthcare workforce on how to deliver evidence-based care.

If the proposed cuts to healthcare and education are approved, it would mark a historic shift away from investment in academic and healthcare infrastructure. Among the proposed cuts is an elimination of $145 million from the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development programs, which is administered through the Health Resources and Services Administration, totaling a 64% cut.

Dr. Juliann Sebastian, Chair of AACN’s Board of Directors, tells Newswise.com, “Cuts of this magnitude do not align with academic nursing’s mission to prepare a highly-educated nursing workforce. Our nursing schools rely on funding streams such as Title VIII to ensure patients have access to quality care.”

The proposed budget also targets elimination of federally subsidized loans and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, narrowing choices available to student borrowers. Dr. Deborah Trautment, President and Chief Executive Office of AACN, also shares her concerns with Newswise.com:

“The proposed reductions to programs within the Department of Education would place significant strain on students, families, and academic institutions. Nursing is not immune to what would result in diminished financial support for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as our faculty and programs.”

AACN remains concerned about proposed cuts to the healthcare workforce, but commends the funding of $10 billion to address the opioid crisis and mental health on a nationwide level, making these issues a top priority for the current Administration. AACN has pledged to work with Congress to restore funding for the nursing workforce, research, and education in the US.

To learn more about AACN’s opposition to the current Administration’s newly proposed 2019 budget, visit here.