The selected bill for this paper is the “Nursing Workforce Development Act of 2021” at the federal level. This bill, also known as H.R. 2882, was introduced in the 117th Congress on April 26, 2021, by Representative Suzanne Bonamici of Oregon. The purpose of this bill is to address the ongoing nursing shortage in the United States and enhance the recruitment and retention of qualified nursing professionals.
The Nursing Workforce Development Act of 2021 aims to achieve its goals through several key provisions. Firstly, it proposes to reauthorize Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act, which provides funding for nursing workforce development programs. The bill seeks to increase the funding levels for Title VIII programs, including Nursing Workforce Development, Nurse Faculty Loan Repayment, and Loan Repayment for Service in Areas of National Need. By increasing funding, the bill aims to support the education and training of nurses, particularly those from underrepresented communities.
Another important provision of this bill is the establishment of a grant program to expand nursing education opportunities. The program would provide funding to eligible entities, such as nursing schools and colleges, to increase the capacity of their nursing programs. This would include efforts to recruit and train nursing faculty and expand clinical training opportunities for nursing students. By addressing the shortage of nursing faculty, the bill aims to increase the number of nursing students who can be admitted and graduate from nursing programs.
Furthermore, the Nursing Workforce Development Act of 2021 seeks to enhance cultural competency training for nursing professionals. The bill proposes to allocate funds for the development and implementation of cultural competency training programs within nursing schools and healthcare facilities. This training aims to equip nurses with the necessary skills and knowledge to provide culturally sensitive care to diverse patient populations. By improving cultural competency, the bill aims to enhance the quality of care delivered to patients and reduce healthcare disparities.
Additionally, this bill recognizes the importance of promoting diversity in the nursing profession. It proposes to establish a grant program to support efforts to recruit and retain individuals from underrepresented backgrounds into nursing programs. These grants would be awarded to eligible entities that have plans to increase diversity in their nursing workforce. By promoting diversity, the bill aims to create a nursing workforce that is representative of the diverse patient populations they serve.
The Nursing Workforce Development Act of 2021 also addresses the issue of loan forgiveness for nursing professionals. The bill proposes to expand loan forgiveness options for nurses, particularly those who work in underserved areas, such as rural and medically underserved communities. It seeks to establish a loan repayment program for nurses who provide care in these areas, with a focus on primary care, mental health, and long-term care. By providing loan forgiveness incentives, the bill aims to encourage nurses to practice in areas with the greatest need.
In summary, the Nursing Workforce Development Act of 2021 is a federal bill introduced to address the nursing shortage in the United States. It seeks to increase funding for nursing workforce development programs, expand nursing education opportunities, enhance cultural competency training, promote diversity in the nursing profession, and provide loan forgiveness options for nurses. By implementing these provisions, the bill aims to strengthen the nursing workforce, improve access to quality care, and address healthcare disparities.