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Obama signs ARRA 2009: Center to Champion Nursing in America

President Obama Signs the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

February 17, 2009

Dear Colleagues:

Today, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, making an historic investment in nursing education and, as a consequence, the health and health care of Americans, now and in the future.

The final version of the legislation includes $500 million to address critical health care workforce shortages. Approximately $200 million of this funding will be dedicated to tackling the growing nursing and other primary care provider shortages by providing a much needed funding increase for the Title VII & VIII nursing and other health care workforce development programs administered by the Division of Health Resources and Services Administration within the Department of Health & Human Services. Funding for nurse education will meaningfully contribute to the reduction of the unemployment rate.

In addition, $250 million is allocated to the Department of Labor for competitive grants for job training and placement in high growth sectors with priority given to health care jobs. This is another area of opportunity for creative and innovative thinking about nursing education.

The Center to Champion Nursing in America commends the efforts of our AARP colleagues for their work to protect funding for nurse education. Additionally, we applaud the extraordinary commitment and unity exhibited by the nursing community.

We would not be celebrating this win without your collaboration and leadership. This new funding demonstrates a well-targeted investment in capacity expansion at our nursing schools and paves the way to fill many thousands of job openings within the next one to three years. Moreover, it represents a down payment on the health care workforce of the future. More than ever, Americans will need nurses that are well-prepared and ready to take on expanded roles in prevention, care coordination, chronic care management and primary care. Based on the work we have witnessed over the past few months, we are more certain than ever that this is possible.


Brenda Cleary
Center to Champion Nursing in America

Susan Reinhard
Chief Strategist
Center to Champion Nursing in America
Senior Vice President and Director
AARP Public Policy Institute


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