Growing the Nursing Workforce
October 21, 2022
This week, federal lawmakers introduced new legislation designed to bolster the nursing workforce through accelerated nursing degree programs.
The Stop Nurse Shortages Act, sponsored by Reps. Haley Stevens (D-Michigan) and David Joyce (R-Ohio), would authorize a $10 million per year grant program to help nursing schools create, expand, or support these accelerated nursing programs.
“Ensuring a robust supply of registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses is essential to maintaining the health of our nation,” Dr. Cynthia McCurren, board chair for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, said in a statement.
Accelerated nursing degree programs allow those who have a degree in a non-nursing field to join the nursing workforce. They build on previous educational experiences, while maintaining the same number of clinical hours as traditional nursing programs.
The legislation arrives as hospitals around the country are grappling with workforce shortages that jeopardize their ability to deliver care. Federal estimates project that there will be about 194,500 average annual openings for registered nurses between 2021 and 2031.
Nursing schools can use the grant funding to support their accelerated nursing degree programs to:
- Hire and retain faculty and preceptors
- Increase the number of clinical training sites
- Offer financial assistance to students
The legislation moves to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for consideration.
HAP continues to focus on strategies to bolster the health care workforce. Through federal advocacy, HAP has supported efforts to expand nurse education and address the nurse shortage by: increasing funding for nurse workforce development programs; innovative pilot programs like the Graduate Nurse Education initiative; and ensuring that hospital-based nurse education programs are able to provide a low-cost, high-quality education to several thousand registered nurses each year.
Additional information about The Stop Nurse Shortages Act is available online.
For more information about HAP’s federal advocacy, contact John Myers, vice president, federal advocacy.