On Feb 25, 2008, Congressional Representatives Lois Capps (D-CA) and Steven LaTourette(R-OH) began circulating a “Dear Colleagues” letter in the House of Representatives seeking support of funding the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Program at a level of $200 million for FY 2009.
The American Nurses Association and the National League for Nursing are asking nurses for help. Nurses are encouraged to contact(by phone, FAX. or Email) their Congressional Representative to encourage him/her to co-sign this letter by Wednesday, March 12, 2008. Find your Representative at Congress.org.
President Bush’s proposed budget for FY 2009 reduces the funding for Title VIII by 30% ($46.1 million) from FY2008. He accomplished this by completely eliminating the funding for “Advanced Education Nursing.” (At a time when more nurse educators are needed!)
According to the National League for Nursing, more than 30 years ago, also during a (far less serious) nursing shortage, Congress appropriated $153.6 million for nurse education programs to help ease the nursing shortage (which it did).
If you factor in inflation and adjust that number for the current dollar value, it would be $634 million today. That’s four times the amount being appropriated today for Title VIII programs! And this nursing shortage is at a crisis level, and the President wants to cut funds even more!
Read more about this issue from the National League for Nursing.
The hospital I work for, is feeling the fire from not having enough funds to pay more nurses. Our patient census has been significantly high for about a month or so and our nurses are tired of picking up the extra workload that an additional nurse could if we could pay them.
I will type of a brief but professional letter to my congress-person and email it before the 12th. You’re right, the nurses that are actually doing the work need to speak up. It’s amazing: nurses make up the majority of the healthcare field yet we have the least impact.
We need to redirect our government to pay attention to the everyday needs of the country.
I appreciate what YOU are doing. Thanks.