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Letter to Rep. Lois Capps

AARP Supports Capps Proposal to Increase Funding for Nursing Training

July 16, 2009

The Honorable Lois Capps
United States House of Representatives
1110 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Capps:

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we would like to express our support for H.R. 3185 that will amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide payment to hospitals for the costs of expanded advanced practice nurse training programs. At a time when our country faces a shortage of healthcare professionals, funding for the clinical education of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), including nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists is vitally important to meet the demand for expanded health care, which is expected under a newly reformed delivery system.

APRNs are ideally suited to help implement delivery system reforms such as an increased focus on primary, transitional, and preventive care, enhancing access for rural and medically underserved populations, improving care coordination, chronic care management, and reducing costly medical errors. Yet in 2008, U.S. nursing schools turned away 6,904 qualified applicants from graduate nursing programs due to insufficient numbers of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors, and budget constraints. Many of these contributing factors directly link to the lack of funding for clinical education. Your legislation would reimburse hospitals for both direct and indirect costs associated with APRN clinical education. In turn, this funding would help grow an APRN workforce struggling with shortages, while increasing the supply of providers in underserved areas across the country. In fact, according to a Lewin report commissioned by AARP to investigate this type of proposal, your bill would increase the number of APRNs by 25%.

We applaud your efforts and those of your staff for drafting H.R. 3185, which will benefit future APRNs so they can provide high quality, cost effective care to the most vulnerable populations in all areas across the country. Thank you for your recognition of the role APRNs will play in a reformed healthcare system.

Sincerely,

AARP
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
American College of Nurse Practitioners
American College of Nurse-Midwives
American Nurses Association
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties

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