Volumne 12, Issue No. 1
February 4, 2014

President Obama’s FY 2012 Budget, FY 2011 Continuing Resolution, Possible Government Shutdown…OH MY!

There has been a lot of action surrounding Appropriations the last few weeks. President Obama delivered a special Valentine’s Day gift by releasing his Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 budget, and the House stayed in session into the wee hours of the morning to vote on the FY 2011 Continuing Resolution (CR).

The House passed a two-week extension on March 1st to avoid a March 4th government shutdown, including $4 Billion in cuts, by a vote of 335-91. The Senate agreed to the short-term extension the following day be a vote of 91-9.  Obama quickly signed the extension to fund the government through March 18.

The Appropriations battle for FY 2011 is far from over.  Some in the House Republican membership have commented that they are content to fund the government two-weeks at a time with $4 Billion in cuts with each extension. The two-week extension will give the Senate time to debate and vote on H.R. 1 or reach a deal with the House. 

President Obama has commented that a threat of government shutdown every couple of weeks is not a viable option.  He has asked Vice President Biden, White House Chief of Staff William Daley and Budget Director Jack Lew to work on a compromise with the GOP to fund the government through Sept. 30th.

FY 2011 Continuing Resolution (CR) H.R. 1
The House passed H.R. 1 around 5:00 o’clock Saturday morning, February 19. The final vote count was approved 235 – 189. In addition to all of the Democrats, there were also three Republican who voted against it: Reps. Jeff Flake (AZ), John Campbell (CA), and Walter Jones (NC).  It is also important to note that the final passage of H.R. 1 included 67 amendments that were either accepted or passed, thirteen of which were introduced by democrats and nine that included defunding of various aspects of  the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The House CR would also cut the Nursing Workforce Development Programs and Health Professions Programs by $145.1 million, a 29% decrease in funding over the FY 2010 levels at 244 million. The Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) are the primary source of Federal funding for nursing education.  Additionally, the CR proposes a reduction of nearly $1 billion for the National Institute of Health (NIH), which includes the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR).

ANA will continue to monitor these fast moving developments.

In addition to monitoring the FY 2011 levels, ANA has also been reviewing the FY 2012 numbers released by President Barack Obama. Introducing his FY 2012 budget on February 14, 2011, the President’s budget includes a 28.4% increase, with $313 million, for Title VIII, nursing education provisions. 

Background on Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs
The Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) are the primary source of Federal funding for nursing education. The major grant programs areas are:

Advanced Nursing Education Grants—Provides grants to nursing schools, academic health centers, and other entities to enhance education and practice for nurses in master’s and post-master’s programs. These programs prepare nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, nurse educators, nurse administrators, and public health nurses.

Workforce Diversity Grants—Provides grants to increase opportunities for individuals who are from disadvantaged backgrounds, including students from economically disadvantaged families as well as racial and ethnic minorities underrepresented in the nursing profession.

Nurse Education, Practice, and Retention Grants—Supports schools and nurses at the associate and baccalaureate degree level. Grants are provided to schools of nursing, academic health centers, nursing centers, state and local governments and other public or private nonprofit entities. Some grants (such as grants promoting the Magnet Hospital best practices for nursing administration) are also available to health care facilities.

National Nurse Service Corps—The Nurse Education Loan Repayment Program repays 60 to 85 percent of nursing student loans in return for at least two years of practice in a facility designated to have a critical shortage of nurses. The Nursing Scholarship Program supports students enrolled in nursing school. Upon graduation, scholarship recipients are required to work full-time for at least two years in a facility designated to have a critical shortage of nurses.

Nurse Faculty Loan Program—Establishes loan programs within schools of nursing to support students pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees. Upon graduation, loan recipients are required to teach at a school of nursing in exchange for cancellation of up to 85 percent of their educational loans, plus interest, over four years.

Comprehensive Geriatric Education Grants—Provides grants to train nurses who provide direct care for the elderly, to support geriatric nursing curriculum, to train faculty in geriatrics, and to provide continuing education to nurses who provide geriatric care.

Rachel Conant and April Canter

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