1. Gonzalez, Rose MPS, RN

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On July 14 the House Appropriations Committee approved a funding bill that would provide a $5 million increase for nursing workforce development programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). This could bring total fiscal year (FY) 2005 funding for Title VIII to $147 million. The full House of Representatives was expected to vote on this bill in mid-September. The Senate is expected to delay action on it until after the November elections.


The ANA and the nursing community at large are asking Congress to provide at least $205 million in FY 2005 funding for Title VIII. The ANA maintains that the need for this $63 million increase is connected to the growing nursing shortage and the inability of current Title VIII funding to meet demand for nursing programs. A good example of this need is the National Nurse Corps. This program offers loan repayments and scholarships to RNs and nursing students who agree to work full time for at least two years in a health care facility deemed to have a critical shortage of nurses. In FY 2003, 8,321 nurses applied to the loan-repayment program, and 4,512 nursing students applied for the nursing scholarship. Unfortunately, because of the lack of funding, the HRSA could only approve 602 loan repayments and a mere 94 scholarships. Therefore, 92% of the nurses willing to immediately enter facilities hardest hit by the shortage were turned away from the corps, and 98% of the nursing students willing to work in these facilities upon graduation were also denied access to this new program.


The ANA urges you to contact your senators and representatives to support the full $205 million request for FY 2005 funding. Drafts of e-mail messages to help nurses write requests, background materials, and other support documents are available here:|Hou.