AMSN Testimony for Appropriations

  • Posted on: 20 June 2019
  • By: AMSN

Sen. Roy Blunt
Chairman
Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education
Senate Appropriations Committee
U.S. Capitol Room S-128
Washington, DC 20510

Sen. Patty Murray
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education
Senate Appropriations Committee
U.S. Capitol Room S-128
Washington, DC 20510

Rep. Nita Lowey
Chairwoman
Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education
House Appropriations Committee
2358-B Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515

Rep. Tom Cole
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education
House Appropriations Committee
2358-B Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515

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 prioritize:

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