The Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, is awarding more than $100 million to train nurses to grow the workforce. $100 Million for Nursing Workforce.
The investments will address the increasing demand for registered nurses, nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and nurse faculty, HHS said.
One reason for the nursing shortage is the lack of faculty to train them.
An estimated 80,000 qualified applications to nursing schools are not accepted due to lack of faculty, said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson, during a press call on Thursday.
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said he has been talking to the heads of colleges in Nevada, Oregon and elsewhere, who have told him they have more applicants than they can accept because they don’t have the staff.
“The biggest issue is it’s tough to lure nurse practitioners to teach because they lose income,” Becerra said.
HRSA is awarding $26.5 million through the Nurse Faculty Loan Program for award recipient schools to provide low-interest loans and loan cancellation to incentivize careers as nursing school faculty.
WHY THIS MATTERS
The nursing workforce is essential to improving health outcomes and healthcare delivery across settings – including in hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities, as well as in community practices such as nurse-run clinics, provider offices, health centers, schools, and home and community-based care, HHS said.
Other awards are:
- $8.7 million to train licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses to becoming registered nurses through the Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention-Pathway to Registered Nurse Program.
- $34.8 million to train nurses who will deliver primary care, mental healthcare and maternal healthcare, through the Advanced Nursing Education Workforce Program.
- $30 million through the Advanced Nursing Education-Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Program, to support comprehensive residency and fellowship training programs to increase the number of trained advanced practice nurses in primary care.
In South Carolina, there are 17 counties that don’t have an active general psychiatric physician, said Deborah Hopla, professor of Nursing and director of the Family Nurse Practitioner Track at Francis Marion University.
American Nurses Association President Jennifer Mensik-Kennedy voiced appreciation for the action but said there are still chronic issues impacting the nursing profession daily. ANA is pressing Congress to stand firm in supporting the Improving Care and Access to Nurses Act, which would remove administrative, practice and other barriers.
“There isn’t a price tag that you can put on the clinical expertise, sincere humanity and vast value that nurses bring to the health and education of their patients and our communities,” Mensik-Kennedy said. “We are pleased with this action, but we will remain firm in urging Congress to address chronic systemic challenges.”
THE LARGER TREND
The staffing and skills shortages in healthcare continue as inflation pressures mount, while roles focused on mental health are among the top 50 healthcare jobs in the United States.
The most in-demand position is that of a nurse, advertising 437,168 vacancies in June, followed by nursing assistant (104,275 jobs) and specialized physician (55,378 jobs), according to research from job search engine Adzuna.
Compared to a year ago, nursing vacancies have skyrocketed, growing as much as 351%.
School nurses topped this year’s list of the unhappiest nursing jobs in the U.S., as tracked by Nursing Process, followed closely by hospital staff nurses, emergency room nurses and substance abuse nurses.
The rankings looked at a number of factors, including salary, potential for upward mobility, stress level, work-life balance and feelings of appreciation.
ON THE RECORD
“Nurses are the frontline in delivering life-saving care and in keeping all of us healthy and well,” said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. “Today’s investments from the Health Resources and Services Administration demonstrate our ongoing commitment to supporting the nursing workforce, training and growing the next generation of nurses, creating career ladders for nurses, and recognizing the critical role nurses play in primary care, mental health care, and maternal healthcare.”
Separately, HRSA announced it awarded $30 million to 151 health centers nationwide that receive HRSA funding. The investment is intended to improve developmental outcomes for children ages 0-5 through increased screenings and follow-up services.
A listing of the centers by state that received the HRSA awards is available here.
SOURCE: $100 Million for Nursing Workforce
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