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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Biden administration invests $100 million in nurse workforce

Registered nurses transfer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from a bottle into a syringe ready for vaccination at the Corona High School gymnasium in the Riverside County city of Corona, California on Jan. 15, 2021.    (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)
By Ebony Williams Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The nursing shortage is a pressing issue affecting health care systems around the country.

The number of registered nurses in the U.S. is projected to decline by 1 million by 2027, according to a study by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

The Biden administration has taken several steps to address the issue. Most recently, it announced $100 million in funding to grow and retain the nurse workforce.

“Nurses are an essential part of our nation’s health care system,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Now more than ever, we need to double down on our investments in nurses who care for communities across the country.”

According to the release, the top priorities for the funds include:

•Helping licensed practical nurses to become registered nurses, including $8.7 million for the Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention-Pathway to Registered Nurse Program which trains licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses to become registered nurses.

•Training nurses who deliver primary, mental and maternal health care, including $34.8 million for the Advanced Nursing Education Workforce Program to increase the number of primary care nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse midwives trained and prepared to provide primary care services, mental health and substance use disorder care, and/or maternal health care.

•Supporting advanced practices training, including $30 million for 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.

•Addressing bottlenecks in nurse training, inclufing $26.5 million for the Nurse Faculty Loan Program for award recipient schools to provide low-interest loans and loan cancellation to incentivize careers as nursing school faculty.

“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 health care.”