On August 1, 2002 President George W. Bush signed the Nurse Reinvestment Act into law. The American Nurses Association (ANA) fought for passage of the act, which addresses the nursing shortage by authorizing important recruitment and retention initiatives. While ANA is pleased that in February 2003 Congress approved $20 million in funding for implementation of the Act in fiscal year 2003, we continue to work toward a level of funding for the act that can make the full intent of the law a reality. ANA has joined the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) to urge support for $175 million in fiscal year 2004 funding for Title VIII nurse educations programs including the new authorities created by the passage of the Nurse Reinvestment Act.
The Nurse Reinvestment Act Authorizes the Following Provisions
Loan repayment programs and scholarships for nursing students;
Public service announcements to encourage more people to enter the nursing profession;
Career ladder programs for those who wish to advance within the profession;
Best practice grants for nursing administration as modeled after ANA/ANCC's magnet program;
Long-term care training grants to develop and incorporate gerontology curriculum into nursing programs; and
Fast-track faculty loan repayment program for nursing students who agree to teach at a school of nursing.
Nurse Reinvestment Act Scholarship Applications
In the continuing effort to implement the Nurse Reinvestment Act, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) posted scholarship applications on May 16. HRSA expects to distribute an estimated $3.8 million in nursing scholarships for fiscal year 2003. Scholarship recipients must serve at least two years at a hospital or other health care facility with a critical shortage of nurses. Applications are due by June 30, with awards to be made by Sept. 30. Eligible applicants are U.S. citizens and nationals enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a professional program as a full- or part-time student in an accredited school of nursing. The agency expects to award about 76 scholarships to qualified applicants with the greatest financial need.