Yesterday, the President released his Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Budget Proposal outlining deep cuts to the Nursing Workforce Development Programs (Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act). The Nursing Community Coalition, which includes 58 national nursing organizations, opposes in the strongest terms any reduction in funding for what continues to be the most critical source of federal support for the nursing pipeline. The Title VIII programs provide vital resources to help meet the nation’s demand for nurses, especially in rural and underserved areas, by offering funding to further the education, practice, recruitment, and retention of our nursing workforce.
The Trump Administration recommends to Congress that the Title VIII programs be funded at $83 million, which is a cut of $145 million (nearly 64%) from previous years. With over four million licensed Registered Nurses (RNs), Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), and nursing students across the country, the profession embodies the drive and passion to continually improve care for patients, families, and communities across the continuum. RNs and APRNs are needed to provide quality care and safeguard public health. Without this critical funding for Title VIII programs, the pipeline of future nurses and the faculty who educate them will be at risk.
The Nursing Community Coalition is concerned about the proposed cuts to the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). The Addendum to the President’s Budget recommends $146 million for NINR, cutting the institute’s budget by approximately $3 million. Nursing science transforms how care is delivered at the bedside, in the community, and in the home; the slightest decrease in funding to an already tight budget would create an unwarranted barrier to new and existing research. Many of the findings from nursing science can be put directly to practice, changing lives and promoting wellness.
The President’s FY 2019 Budget Proposal also proposes $10 billion in new funding for FY 2019 to combat the opioid crisis. The Nursing Community Coalition commends the President’s inclusion of this funding, which would expand access of treatment and recovery support services to those suffering from opioid addiction. The Nursing Community Coalition has worked in the 115th Congress to promote and support legislation, specifically the Addiction Treatment Access Improvement Act (H.R. 3692/S. 2317), that would drastically increase access to those suffering from opioid addiction by allowing APRNs to fully utilize their clinical training to provide treatment.
The National Nurse-Led Care Consortium is a member of the Nursing Community Coalition.