AMSN Testimony for the 2020 Appropriations for Title 8

  • Posted on: 12 April 2019
  • By: AMSN

The following statement will be sent to the following representatives of the Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education: Sen. Roy Blunt, Rep. Nita Lowey, Sen. Patty Murray, Rep. Tom Cole on behalf of AMSN.

Dear Chairs and Ranking Members,

On behalf of the 14,000 members of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN), as the organization’s President I write to submit this letter as testimony for the record to the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education, regarding FY 2020 appropriations for Title 8 nurse workforce development programs, the National Institute of Nursing Research, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, all of which are priorities for members of our organization.

AMSN is the only national specialty nursing organization dedicated to developing medical-surgical nurses personally and professionally. You know our members well as the type of nurse who would provide care for a person in the hospital. Our practice is the largest specialty in nursing, consisting of an estimated 650,000 professionals, and is the foundation of all hospital and community nursing practice.
Our national agenda includes promoting evidence-based safe staffing models, addressing social determinants of health and the links between hospital care and postoperative health, promoting professional respect and safety in nursing and health care professions, and advancing nurses into leadership roles in health, community and public service.

We simply request that Congress, in making appropriations decisions, listen to nurses. Med-surg nurses work on the front lines of care delivery every day. America’s 4 million nurses represent the largest workforce in our nation’s health care sector. We know what is best for our patients. We know what makes for effective, efficient, compassionate care. We live it every day, and we bring this experience to our agenda for advocacy.

AMSN Requests for FY 2020 Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations

AMSN requests the Congress provide the following appropriations within the Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations bills for FY 2020:

• U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Title 8 Nursing Workforce Development … $266,000,000

• U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research … $173,000,000

• U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality … $460,000,000.

Title 8 Nursing Workforce Development

AMSN requests Congress provide $266,000,000 in appropriations for nurse workforce development programs under Title 8 of the Public Health Service Act for FY 2020. We urge Congress once again to not accept the Administration’s proposal to severely reduce this program, and to support the joint recommendations of the Nursing Community Coalition, which we share.

Administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration, Title 8 Nursing Workforce
Development programs are instrumental in bolstering and sustaining the nation’s nursing pipeline. Title
8 programs address all aspects of the nursing workforce demand, including education, practice, recruitment, and retention. Furthermore, these programs increase access to care in communities that need it most; those in rural and underserved areas. It is also critically important that these nursing workforce programs continue to have individual line items, which include:

• Advanced Nursing Education (Sec. 811), which includes the Advanced Education Nursing Traineeships and Nurse Anesthetist Traineeships
• Nursing Workforce Diversity (Sec. 821)
• Nurse Education, Practice, Quality, and Retention (Sec. 831)
• NURSE Corps Loan Repayment and Scholarship Programs (Sec. 846)
• Nurse Faculty Loan Program (Sec. 846A)
• Comprehensive Geriatric Education (Sec. 865)
Our members have ranked nursing workforce development among their highest priorities in policy. In a survey of AMSN members taken August 2019, they stated that they prioritized:

• Health care workforce development
• Advocacy for nurses entering the academic workforce and valuing what nurse educators do and provide
• Nurse staffing - including conversations that innovate care delivery
• Addressing gaps in education that contribute to provider burnout and lack of quality care.

Title 8 programs effectively address these priorities. They must be sufficiently funded. America’s population is growing, aging, becoming increasingly diverse, and requiring more health care year by year. Its investment in the future nursing workforce through Title 8 appropriations delivers important value by helping to ensure a supply of highly educated and well-prepared caregivers, supporting the development of nursing faculty and needed educational infrastructure, and expanding incentives for nurses to choose public health careers.

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)

AMSN requests Congress provide $173,000,000 in appropriations for the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) within the National Institutes of Health for FY 2020. We associate ourselves with the recommendations of the Nursing Community Coalition for NINR funding.

As one of the 27 Institutes and Centers at the National Institutes of Health, NINR’s research projects funded through this Institute are aimed at reducing burdensome chronic illness, improving end of life care, and promoting patient-centered care across the life continuum. From disease prevention and global health, to precision medicine and genomic studies, NINR is at the forefront of nursing science and research.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

AMSN requests Congress provide $460,000,000 in appropriations for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) FY 2020. We ask that Congress one again not adopt the Administration’s request to transfer AHRQ to the National Institutes of Health, rename it the National Institute for Research on Safety and Quality, and reduce its funding by $112.5 million. We associate ourselves with the recommendations of the Friends of AHRQ funding request.

Health services research of the type supported by AHRQ and its budget holds promise for improving health care, improving health, and promoting the cost-efficiency of our nearly $4 trillion U.S. health care sector. AHRQ-funded research identifies waste in health care so that stakeholders in the system can learn and change for the better. AHRQ initiatives have helped to reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired conditions and are well-situated to help the country and the health care industry respond effectively to the growing number of patients with multiple chronic conditions.

Thank you for your attention to these requests. We stand ready to provide the Subcommittees any additional information you may require on these subjects.

Sincerely,
Robin Hertel, EdS, MSN, RN, CMSRN
President