SILVER SPRING, Md., March 16, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Nurses Association (ANA) is deeply concerned that President Trump's FY 2018 budget plan, released today, will weaken the nation's health care system and jeopardize the scientific research needed to keep America healthy. ANA staunchly opposes the President's proposal which significantly reduces funding for health professions and nursing workforce programs by $403 million. The budget slices $5.8 billion from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), resulting in a massive 22 percent cut to scientific research for medical cures. Furthermore, this proposal suggests folding the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) into this significantly reduced NIH. AHRQ is the only federal agency with a mandate to conduct health services research.
ANA urges Congress to reject this proposal. It drastically hampers efforts to address critical faculty shortages and recruit new nurses into the profession. The nursing workforce stands ready to provide high-quality, patient-centered care in a transforming health care environment; however these cuts will hamper recruiting new nurses into the profession, promoting career advancement within nursing and allocating nurses to critical shortage areas.
"As the demand for high-quality health care intensifies, Congress must firmly invest in the nation's largest health-care workforce, registered nurses. Decreasing funding by $403 million will significantly cripple efforts to effectively recruit, train and educate nurses for practice in rural and medically underserved communities," said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN.
ANA urges Congress to instead provide $244 million to fund nursing workforce development programs, $160 million for the National Institute of Nursing Research, $380 million for the National Health Service Corps, and to restore AHRQ's funding to at least $364 million in FY 2018.
Despite concerns about the cuts above, ANA does support the President's call for a $500 million increase to expand opioid misuse prevention and treatment efforts.
ANA recognizes the difficult task before Congress as they consider the President's proposal and work to adequately fund the government. However, ANA has consistently asserted that health care should not be compromised by political or partisan posturing. That is why ANA will work with Congress to advocate for programs that fully address the health care demands of the nation.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's 3.6 million registered nurses. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit www.nursingworld.org.
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SOURCE American Nurses Association