AANA stresses need for funding to ensure future U.S. healthcare demands are met
For immediate release: March 13, 2019
For more information: AANA Public Relations
Park Ridge, Illinois—In response to yesterday’s release of President Trump’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) expressed deep concerns with some elements of the proposal.
The president’s budget proposes immense cuts to Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development funding, which supports federal healthcare workforce and research programs. The budget recommends to Congress that Title VIII funding be cut by $166 million, a decrease of almost 67 percent. This would take funding down from its current level of $249 million to $83 million and would eliminate almost all nursing workforce programs except NURSE Corps. Title VIII Funding remained flat in FY19 and has consistently fallen behind inflation.
“Title VIII programs are critical to ensuring we have a free-flowing pipeline of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) and other nursing professionals. Now is not the time to take our foot off the gas when it comes to training nurses, especially as we face an aging population and impending retirements in the nursing field,” said AANA President Garry Brydges, DNP, MBA, CRNA. “These programs have worked for over 50 years to ensure we have the needed healthcare professionals to meet our nation’s demand for quality care, especially in rural and other medically underserved areas of the country.”
The Nurse Anesthetists Traineeship (NAT), funded through Title VIII, has helped nearly 2,500 students being educated as nurse anesthetists, including 75 percent in medically underserved areas. Additionally, the Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship (AENT) has supported more than 2,100 students, including 61 percent who trained in underserved areas. These programs continue to be critical to providing care in rural and underserved areas.
“Title VIII programs support nurses who provide cost effective, high quality care across the healthcare spectrum, including CRNAs,” said Brydges. “These anesthesia experts provide the safest anesthesia care and a host of non-opioid and opioid-sparing pain intervention options and are an essential part of our healthcare infrastructure. It is imperative that these programs continue to be funded at and above their current levels to keep pace with the increasing demand for healthcare.”
The president’s budget also calls for a $23 million reduction to the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR). This cut amounts to 14 percent of NINR funding at a time when more patients are turning to nurses for healthcare and an increasing number of nurses are at the forefront healthcare research and innovation.
“The 53,000-member AANA strongly urges Congress and President Trump to reconsider these drastic cuts to critical, life-saving nursing programs,” Brydges said.