US House Advances Bill Supporting Nurses
The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, July 17, 2019, unanimously passed HR 728, the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act, which now moves to the floor for consideration by the full US House of Representatives.
The act provides the largest source of federal funding for nursing education, offering financial support for education programs, individual students and nurses.
For five decades, these programs have helped build the supply and distribution of qualified nurses in all healthcare settings, from entry-level preparation through graduate study. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, these programs provided loans, scholarships, and programmatic support to over 450,000 nursing students and nurses between fiscal years 2006-12.
“Our nation is in dire need of nurses who, every day, serve as the heart of our healthcare system, providing care to those who need it most,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawai‘i-District 2). “Rural and underserved communities, like those in my district and across the country, are hardest hit by the national nursing shortage. As a co-chair of the Congressional Nursing Caucus, passage of our bipartisan bill … is the first step toward the urgent action Congress must take to ensure we build a 21st Century nursing workforce that will serve the needs of all our people.”