American Association of Community Colleges

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1 American Association of Community Colleges Nurse & Allied Health Initiative Workforce Development Institute 2003 San Diego, CA

2 Nurse & Allied Health Initiative: Goals Educate the public, Congress and other policy makers about the contributions that associate degree programs and their graduates make in building and strengthening the nation s healthcare system. Protect health care practice areas for AD registered nurses to ensure that they are not arbitrarily subjected to discrimination based on education.

3 Nurse & Allied Health Initiative: Goals Conduct research to support associate degree healthcare programs, students and graduates. Build and strengthen relationships with members of Congress and other federal policymakers make sure that the AD voice is heard. Offset legislative actions detrimental to AD health care programs, students, and professionals before they occur.

4 Nurse & Allied Health Initiative: Goals Create laws to provide new programs that support AD health care education and graduates. Obtain a fair share of federal funding appropriated by Congress to support nurse and allied health education, students, and professionals. Place associate degree representatives on federal advisory boards that make recommendations on health care law and policy to Congress.

5 Nurse & Allied Health Initiative: Goals Increase the number of associate degree federal grant applicants and ensure that they receive funding. Increase the numbers of peer reviewers of federal grants from associate degree programs and practice. Identify and address problems contributing to the nursing and allied health shortages such as faculty shortages.

6 Nurse & Allied Health Initiative: Goals Increase the capacity for associate degree health programs to expand enrollments. Increase support for students enrolled in associate degree health programs to ensure that graduation occurs.

7 Challenges to Associate Degree Health Education & Graduates The public is unfamiliar with the educational paths leading to registered nurse licensure and does not understand that baccalaureate-prepared students do not enter nursing programs until the junior year of study or that both associate- and baccalaureate students earn the same license to practice nursing.

8 Challenges to Associate Degree Health Education & Graduates A belief across federal agencies that baccalaureate degree students are better prepared to provide health care. National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice (NACNEP) is heavily weighted with representatives who are less than supportive of associate degree programs. In 1995 the NACNEP set a target to: Increase the overall number of baccalaureate and higher degree prepared nurses making up the basic nurse workforce to achieve 2/3 BSN-prepared nursing workforce by This target requires a 23 percent increase in the number of BSN-prepared RNs between 2000 and 2010.

9 Challenges to Associate Degree Health Education & Graduates An August 11, 2000 NACNEP recommendation to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission called for a redirection of the Medicare funds for nursing education from supporting hospital-based diploma programs. The council recommended that the funds be used to provide support for baccalaureate and higher degree nursing education programs pointing out that these education programs prepare the nurses who are best qualified to care for the elderly.

10 Challenges to Associate Degree Health Education & Graduates In a November 2001 report to the Secretary and Congress, NACNEP reiterated its recommendation stating that Medicare funds available to nursing be redirected toward providing support at the baccalaureate and higher degree level nurse education, as this would best serve the needs for qualified registered nurses to provide the services of today s health care delivery system...

11 Challenges to Associate Degree Health Education & Graduates The Nurse Education Act favors baccalaureate nursing schools by allowing Basic Nurse Education and Practice grant funding to be used to expand baccalaureate enrollments a a parallel grant to expand associate degree programs does not exist. From a FY 2002 appropriations of $82 million to support nursing education and practice, only a single associate degree program received funding ($229,000).

12 Challenges to Associate Degree Health Education & Graduates The bias towards baccalaureate nursing education continues with the enactment of the Nurse Reinvestment Act. Under Education Priority Areas, the new law states: The Secretary may award grants to or enter into contracts with eligible entities for (1) expanding the enrollment in baccalaureate nursing programs. The law does not provide grants to expand AD nursing enrollments.

13 Challenges to Associate Degree Health Education & Graduates The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has created a requirement that registered nurses employed within the VHA after December 1999 must earn a baccalaureate degree to advance up the career ladder. Until 2005, ADNs may request a waiver for career advancement. With expiration of the waiver, no associate degree registered nurse will be eligible for advancement beyond Level II within the VHA system.

14 AACC Nurse & Allied Health Initiative: Meeting Challenges Created nursing education Public Service Announcements that were distributed to 14 markets across the country to: Inform the public that associate degree programs educate the majority of the nation s RNs (60%). Increase applicants to associate degree nursing programs.

15 Nurse Allied Health Initiative: AACC Meeting the Challenges Conducting a survey that will provide the data necessary to strengthen AD programs. Legislation Requested that Sen. Barbara Mikulski offer an amendment to the FY 2003 Labor, Health, Education Appropriations bill to fund the Nurse Reinvestment Act. Drafting legislation to provide support to allied health professions.

16 Nurse Allied Health Initiative: AACC Meeting the Challenges Building relationships with policymakers to ensure that the AD voice is heard. Visiting with each member of Congress on committees having jurisdiction over health and education authorities and appropriations to get the message out about registered nurse education, licensure, and practice and the excellent contributions that associate degree programs make in building the nation s healthcare workforce.

17 Nurse Allied Health Initiative: AACC Meeting the Challenges Building relationships with policymakers to ensure that the AD voice is heard (cont.). Meeting with new HRSA leadership to ensure that these leaders understand the neglect that AD programs suffer in receiving a fair share of federal funding available to support nurse and allied health educators and students. On January 9, 2003, AACC attended a Health Resources Service Administration meeting with 27 nurse association representatives (including N-OADN) N to develop guidelines for administering the Nurse Reinvestment Act grants.

18 Nurse Allied Health Initiative: AACC Meeting the Challenges Building alliances with nursing and allied health association advocates, hospitals, foundations, and others. National Organization of Associate Degree Nurses (N-OADN) ANSR Alliance Health Professions and Nurse Education Council Association of Schools of the Allied Health Professions American Federation of Government Employees American Hospital Association National Black Nurses Association Robert Wood Johnson

19 Nurse Allied Health Initiative: AACC Meeting the Challenges Meeting with the Veteran s Health Administration to develop new programs to support AD students and nurses and faculty shortages. Requested that the Secretary of Health move the new Nurse Education Act funding recommendations to Congress with a recommendation for implementation. These recommendations would reduce Advanced Nursing Education funding from 66% to 31.5% and increase funding for Workforce Diversity* Grants to 31.5% and for Basic Nurse Education* grants to 37%. *Eligible to associate degree nursing programs and students.

20 What YOU Can Do to Protect AD Nursing & Allied Health Support the Nurse and Allied Health Initiative. Ensure that your institution promptly replies to the AACC survey, which was ed to the presidents at AACC schools with nursing and allied health programs. Share your school s experience with AACC. Collaborative efforts between your institution and businesses, hospitals, etc. State efforts to address the nursing shortage. Innovative solutions that are working in your community.

21 What YOU Can Do to Protect AD Nursing & Allied Health Learn the facts about nursing education and promote them often. Ensure that your members of Congress receive data and other information demonstrating that your institution provides quality, cost effective education to health care professionals in his/her district/state and let him know that these programs and professionals are threatened. (Enclose the AACC fact sheet, copy your letter to AACC for follow-up.)

22 What YOU Can Do to Protect AD Nursing & Allied Health Encourage your institution to apply for Nurse Education Funding. Encourage nurse educators on your campus to become peer reviewers.

23 Thank you for your participation.

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