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Authors

  1. Fitzpatrick, Melissa A. RN, MSN, FAAN, Editor-in-Chief

Article Content

This November, I'm thankful for the Nurse Reinvestment Act (NRA)-a great testimony to what nurses can achieve when we're united. Our concerted effort to legislatively curb the current and looming nursing shortage prompted passage of the NRA. We lobbied on Capitol Hill for a nursing workforce that can meet increasing patient demands.

 

Lois Capps (D-CA), a former public health nurse, drafted the bill, served on Congress's health subcommittee, and tirelessly garnered bipartisan support. To pass the Act, Capps demonstrated nursing's hallmarks: fortitude, perseverance, preparedness, and collaboration. Her persistence will help recognize and reward nurses and meet patient needs for decades to come.

 

Action speaks...

Introduced by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Jim Jeffords (I-VT) and by Representatives Sue Kelly (R-NY) and Capps, the NRA addresses nursing issues on several fronts, including education, practice, recruitment, and retention. It establishes a Nurse Corps Scholarship program and grants for nurse retention and patient safety enhancement. It includes comprehensive geriatric training grants for nurses, acknowledging the competencies necessary to care for our aging population. Also part of the Act, a career ladder grant program and internship and residency programs enhance mentoring and specialty training. In addition, it opens the door for new technologies in education, including distance learning.

 

The Act extends the Nurse Loan Repayment Program for nursing education and provides financial assistance to nursing students who agree to work in shortage areas for 2 years after graduation. It also creates loans for graduate-level education to increase the supply of nursing school faculty. The NRA establishes a nursing faculty loan cancellation program, in which recipients spend a designated amount of time in a nursing school faculty position in exchange for cancellation of a set amount of school loans. The Act also provides for public service announcements to promote the nursing profession and offers grants to encourage implementation of the American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Recognition Program criteria for excellence in nursing services.

 

...louder than words

The NRA is a great step toward solving countless nursing challenges; let's pull together to assure its funding. Join voices with more than 2 million nursing colleagues to create a force that must be heard by the legislature, the media, and the major stakeholders in health care delivery.

 

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