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During National Nurses Week, which took place last week, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced S. 1399 Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2019. The new legislation will help strengthen academic nursing and has received public support from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) since it was announced. 

Dr. Ann Cary, Chair of the AACN Board of Directors, tells, ”We commend the efforts of our Senate Nursing Champions for introducing this vital legislation during National Nurses Week. As I have witnessed firsthand, Title VIII programs are a strong investment in nursing education and workforce and help to ensure that the next generation of nurses are prepared to address the healthcare needs of our nation today and in the future.”

For over 50 years, Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development programs have consistently and continually built the supply and distribution of highly educated nurses by strengthening nursing education at all levels, from entry preparation through graduate study. Title VIII programs provide grants, loans, and scholarships to help prepare the next generation of nurses and ensure that we have a qualified and diverse set of providers. This bipartisan legislation would reauthorize the Nursing Workforce Development programs (Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act) through Fiscal Year 2024 and align them with current priorities for the profession.

According to Dr. Deborah Trautman, AACN President and Chief Executive Officer, “Title VIII Nursing Workforce programs serve a vital role to our nation by attracting new nurses and faculty into the nursing profession. AACN looks forward to working with our Senate Nursing Champions to advance and pass this critical legislation.”

Title VIII has received support from the Nursing Community, a coalition of 62 national nursing organizations, in support of this legislation. To learn more about Title VIII programs, visit the AACN’s Policy and Advocacy web page.

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