America’s Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who provide the majority of anesthesia care to rural and medically underserved America, and to the U.S. Armed Forces at home, at sea, and abroad. Nurse anesthesia care is not only very safe, it is the most cost-effective method of anesthesia services delivery, a critical consideration as Congress and policymakers seek to bring healthcare costs under control. Therefore, promoting APRN and CRNA workforce development helps advance a healthcare system that is safe, accessible to patients, and affordable.
Support FY 2012 Appropriations for Nurse Anesthesia Education — Nurse anesthesia educational programs collectively receive about $3 million each year through the Title 8 Nurse Workforce Development Program, funded through Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations legislation. The AANA requests an increase to $4 million, which would help fund two to three additional competitively awarded nurse anesthesia educational program development and expansion grants. Demand for nurse anesthesia services is anticipated to continue growing as the U.S. population ages. Further, the AANA requests that Title 8 receive $313.1 million in FY 2012, the same as the Administration’s budget request, and that the Advanced Education Nursing Program (AENP) allocated within Title 8 receives $104.4 million. While AENP is effective and critical to APRN workforce development and patient access to care, its funding has not kept up with inflation since 2005.
Promote Graduate Nursing Education — Baby boomer retirements and increases in health coverage demand a healthcare workforce sufficient to deliver patient access to high quality healthcare. The Affordable Care Act included a four-year pilot project for Graduate Nursing Education (GNE) intended to support the clinical practice education of APRNs for America’s growing population of Medicare patients. Backed by The Nursing Community and the AARP and now in the final stages of development at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), GNE seeks to ensure that the promise of health insurance coverage can deliver healthcare, safely and cost-effectively.