Nursing Bill Passes House Unanimously
WASHINGTON, DC-Today, the House of Representatives unanimously passed Congressman Dave Joyce’s bi-partisan bill, the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 959). Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, and Congressman Rodney Davis were original cosponsors. The bill now awaits action in the Senate.
“Our nation will soon face a nursing shortage, so we need to do all we can to make sure those who are interested in this valued career path have access to high-quality education opportunities,” said Congressman Dave Joyce. “As the husband of a nurse and co-chair of the Congressional Nursing Caucus, I know the amount of dedication, care, and support nurses put into their daily task of caring for every patient. I am thankful for the incredible bipartisan support this bill has received on behalf of our nation’s nurses.”
This important legislation amends the Public Health Service Act to improve nursing workforce development programs and grants. These programs support the recruitment, retention, and advanced education of skilled nursing professionals. The bill also extends advanced education nursing grants to support clinical nurse specialists and clinical nurse leaders. H.R. 959 defines nurse-managed health clinics, adds clinical nurse specialists to the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education, and reauthorizes loan repayments, scholarships, and grants for education, practice, quality, and retention.
“Our nurses must have the quality training needed to respond to the needs of our community- from an aging population, to an increase in chronic diseases, to a worsening opioid epidemic, and more,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Co-Chair of the House Nursing Caucus. “But nursing shortages in Hawai‘i and across the country are putting patient health at risk and increasing healthcare costs. Our bipartisan legislation takes a vital step forward in providing our nurses with training, education, and financial support so they can serve the people in our communities.”
“Passage of this bill is a great example of how we continue to be focused on jobs and workforce training,” said Rep. Rodney Davis, Vice Co-Chair of the Congressional Nursing Caucus. “My wife is a nurse educator so I know firsthand the struggles faced by the nursing workforce. This bill will help prevent a nursing shortage by focusing on recruitment, retainment, and continued education for nurses. I thank my colleague Rep. Joyce and all of the members of the Congressional Nursing Caucus for their leadership on this bipartisan bill.”
“Nurses work tirelessly on the front lines of patient care, and they are critical to the health and wellbeing of our communities,” said Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Vice Co-Chair of the Congressional Nursing Caucus. “This bill will support nurses who pursue additional educational opportunities that will lead to more advancement and successful careers. I applaud the passage of this legislation and look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in the Nursing Caucus in support of these important programs.”
“The House of Representatives’ action today to pass the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2017 was an enormous victory for America’s health,” said Dr. Ann Cary, Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. “We applaud Representative David Joyce for his constant fight to emphasize, through critical legislation and as Co-chair of the House Nursing Caucus, the importance of nurses providing exceptional care in every community.”
“A well prepared and sufficient supply of registered nurses is essential to ensure the delivery of high quality patient care,” said American Nurses Association president Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “ANA commends Representative Joyce for his unwavering commitment to the passage of legislation that will bolster nursing education to meet the growing needs of patients in an ever-changing health care landscape.”