24/7 Crisis Hotline for Impaired Nurses - 1-800-662-0108

Contact Us

Call us at (609) 883-5335 or email us.

N.J. Nurses: Cutting Education Puts Elderly at Risk


N.J. Nurses: Cutting Education Puts Elderly at Risk

 NJSNA Advocates on Capitol Hill Against Proposed $146M Funding Cuts

WASHINGTON, D.C.—June 15, 2017—Representatives from the New Jersey State Nurses Association recently advocated against the proposed elimination of $146 million in funding for Title VIII nursing workforce development programs on Capitol Hill.

NJSNA was joined by 427 nurses from around the nation to support workforce development funding and home health services that would directly impact a growing need for geriatric care on June 8, 2017.

“Access to care is a bipartisan issue that impacts all Americans,” said Judith Schmidt, CEO of the New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA). Health care should be focused on wellness, disease prevention, chronic disease management and holistic care. “Nursing education is critical to providing the best possible care. President Trump’s 2018 budget eliminates $146 million from the Title VIII nursing workforce development programs, which will put nurses at an educational disadvantage, especially as our population ages, because of the cost of keeping up their education.”

New Jersey State Nurses Association members discuss nursing education funding with Senator Robert Menendez’s staff in Washington D.C. on June 8, 2017.

Meeting the needs of an aging population

The latest Title VIII funding proposal provides grants to train nurses who provide direct care for the elderly, support geriatric nursing curriculum, train faculty in geriatrics and provide continuing education to nurses who provide geriatric care. The proposed budget was introduced to the Senate in May and the House of Representatives in February.

“I can’t tell you how many horrifying stories I hear from nurses who put their schooling on credit cards or mortgage their homes to advance their skill sets to provide the best care to patients,” Schmidt said. “Nurses are on the frontlines of health care in this country and we need support to be ready to meet the needs of the population.”

The most critical piece of Title VIII for Schmidt is the nurse faculty loan forgiveness because the average age of a nurse educator at an academic institution is 60. “This funding allows for the education of the next generation of nurse educators, which is critical to keeping the profession growing,” Schmidt said.

More than 20 percent of the total U.S. population will be older than 65 by 2029, according to Census reports.

Costs of nursing education prohibitive

Title VIII is the largest source of federal funding for nursing education, offering financial support for nursing education programs, individual students and nurses. The proposed budget cuts target advanced nursing education, diversity grants, National Nurse Service Corp, nurse faculty loan forgiveness and geriatric education.

“With the faculty shortage and the graying of the baby boomers, how does it make any sense to cut funding from preparing the nursing workforce that will be there to meet their needs?” said Benjamin Evans, DD, DNP, RN, APN, PHMCNS-BC, president of NJSNA. “Nurses provide safe, quality, ethical care across the lifespan and often serve in the areas with the least availability of health care providers. Slashing funding shows a major short-sightedness.”

“A lot of nurses can’t afford to go back to school, which holds them back in career development or holds some back from a health care career altogether,” said Schmidt about the grant that funds up to 85 percent of a nurse’s tuition for advancing their education. “Instead of walking out of Rutgers, for example, with $100,000 in student loans, they are walking out with a $15,000 loan.”

It is imperative that Title VIII programs continue to thrive, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections for 2012-2022 forecasts nurse employment rates to grow by 19 percent, meaning that the nursing workforce will total more than 1 million by 2022. Currently, there are more than 125,000 nurses in New Jersey.

Home health services

Nurses also advocated on Capitol Hill for home health, asking representatives to co-sponsor a bill to allow APNs to certify eligibility and order home health services. Medicare currently prevents advanced practice registered nurses from ensuring appropriate, timely care for their patients. These APN’s are authorized to perform face-to-face assessments of a patient’s needs, but a physician must certify them, adding steps to the process.

“APRNs have proven time and time again that they are high quality independent practitioners and should be able to practice to the full extent of their licensure,” Schmidt said.  “They are more than capable of providing high quality, cost effective care especially in home health care and community settings as they are educated to be primary care providers.”

With modifications to Medicare, patients would receive services faster, which would lead to better patient outcomes and ease the burden on caregivers. It would also save millions of taxpayer dollars. The five-year savings estimate is $82.5 million and the 10-year savings estimate is $252.6 million.

NJSNA and ANA joined other national nursing organizations, which represents more than 240,000 APRNs, to call on members of Congress to support these legislative initatives. These include the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

###

About NJSNA
NJSNA, which was established in 1901, is a constituent member of the American Nurses Association.  The New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) represents the interests of 125,000 registered nurses and advanced practice nurses as an advocate for the nursing profession. NJSNA’s lobbying arm continues to protect the nursing profession through legislative victories. Its nonprofit foundation, Institute for Nursing, helps nurses further their careers by providing continuing education, scholarships and research grants in addition to invaluable networking opportunities. For more information, nurses can visit www.njsna.org or contact NJSNA at njsna@njsna.org or (609) 883-5335.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

NJSNA Benefits

Your membership in NJSNA, which is the only organization to protect the practice of nursing in New Jersey, provides unique opportunities for you to advance your career, network with fellow nurses and gain knowledge that will improve patient care and influence decisions that impact nurses in the Garden State and radiate to the national level. Under a new pricing structure, all new NJSNA memberships will include dual membership in NJSNA and the American Nurses Association and cost $174. Membership includes:

  • Educational programming
  • Annual conference
  • Networking
  • Scholarships
  • Research grants
  • Leadership development
  • Legislative advocacy
  • Opportunity for service in state task forces or committees
  • Recovery and Monitoring Program (RAMP) for nurses
  • Career Center
  • Career Resources
  • Events
  • Insurance Programs
  • Legal Services
  • Practice Consultation
  • Professional Tools
  • eNewsletters
  • Electronic Job Flash

Search for Jobs

Searching for a job within your industry?
We feature various Nursing jobs. Ready to start your job search? Click here to find your next Nursing job!

NJSNA & ANA Membership

NJSNA and the American Nurses Association (ANA) are the only professional organizations representing the interest of all registered nurses, regardless of areas of specialization, clinical setting or working environment. Dual membership in both organizations connects you with nurses from throughout New Jersey and across the country as the single, united voice for the practice of nursing.
Your NJSNA/ANA membership provides unique opportunities for you to advance your career and gain more knowledge with additional educational opportunities to improve patient care and influence decisions that impact nurses at state and national levels.

Additionally, when you join NJSNA and ANA, you can:

  • Learn what you need with online access to learning resources on important issues impacting nursing (one FREE Navigate Nursing webinar every month — a $385 value).
  • Stay current on issues and news affecting nurses through free members-only publications, including: American Nurse Today, ANA SmartBrief, and OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing.
  • Get advice and support from nurses in your state and across the country.
  • Use member discounts on our extensive library of online CE modules to stay current on nursing topics and earn contact hours.
  • Save $125 on ANCC initial specialty certification and $100 on certification renewal as a member.
  • Improve your clinical, business, and leadership skills through educational programs.
  • Add your voice to advocacy efforts at the state and national levels.
  • Protect yourself with liability, life, and auto insurance
24/7 Crisis Hotline for Impaired Nurses - 1-800-662-0108