On May 9, the Nursing Community Coalition (NCC) commended Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) for introducing the bipartisan bill, S. 1399, Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2019. This legislation reauthorizes vital Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs and makes technical changes to align them with current practices. With the introduction of S. 1399 and the previous introduction of the House Title VIII Reauthorization bill (H.R. 728), we now have bipartisan bicameral support for Title VIII Reauthorization. NCC remains committed to advancing this essential piece of legislation and one of our top issues as a coalition.
NCC’s National Nurses Week Congressional Reception
On May 7, the Nursing Community Coalition held the “Thank a Nurse” Congressional reception. This reception was in lieu of our regularly scheduled monthly NCC meeting. Attendees heard from nurses across the profession and were joined by a bipartisan group of nine Members of Congress. Thank you to all NCC members and friends who attended and showed support during this National Nurses Week! See highlights below.
Attendees Included: Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09), Susan Wild (D-PA-07), Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-01), David Joyce (R-OH-14), Rodney Davis (R-IL-13), Paul Tonko (D-NY-20), Joe Courtney (D-CT-02), and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
On May 8, the House Appropriations Committee marked up their Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS-ED) Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 funding bill. This bill includes:
- $279.472 million for Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs: This is a $30.000 million (12.03%) increase over FY 2019 funding levels and includes $10 million for existing Title VIII programs and $20 million in grants for optional community-based nurse practitioner fellowship programs.
- $170.958 million for National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR): This is a $7.966 million and 4.89% increase over FY 2019 funding levels and reflects part of the $41.084 billion ($2 billion overall increase) for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
While this is only the first step in the process, it is a promising start and a true testament to our continued advocacy in these areas.
Fifty-Nine NCC member organizations signed onto written testimony for the record submitted to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on LHHS-ED. The testimony featured the coalition's funding requests of $266 million for the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs and $173 million for the NINR for FY 2020
Thirty-Seven NCC member organizations signed onto letters thanking House and Senate members for introducing the United States Cadet Nurse Corp Service Recognition Act (H.R. 2056/S. 997). This legislation recognizes nurses who served as members of the United States Cadet Nurse Corps during World War II and provides them with honorable discharges, medal privileges, and veteran burial benefits.
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