HHS Invests $13 Million to Grow and Strengthen the Nursing Workforce

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), allocated $13 million to strengthen nursing education and training to increase the nursing workforce and increase access to nursing education. Today’s awards are part of a series of investments by the Biden-Harris administration in HHS and the Department of Labor to support pathways to quality nursing jobs. Investing in the nursing workforce pipeline is a key pillar of President Biden’s plan of action to improve the safety and quality of care in the nation’s nursing homes.

“Nurses are an integral part of our country’s health care system,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “We are committed to educating the next generation of caregivers and ensuring that the education and training they receive prepares them to provide high-quality, culturally competent care. Supporting nurses and other frontline health workers delivering care in our communities is critical to improving the health and well-being of our country.”

“Nurses have been true heroes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, providing lifesaving care on the front lines despite unprecedented challenges,” said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. “Today’s announcement is part of HRSA’s commitment to strengthen nursing education and training and develop the next generation of nurses.”

A major factor limiting admission to nursing schools is the limited availability of nursing instructors (experienced licensed clinicians who supervise nursing students throughout their clinical rotations). Nursing teachers are a critical bridge between education and practice, providing direct instruction to nursing students in the clinical setting. Without adequate faculty, nursing schools cannot accommodate as many students, new students are delayed in entering clinical rotations, and prospective nursing students may be handicapped and choose different career paths.

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Today’s investments are working to reverse this trend. HRSA awards over $8.4 million to 10 honorees through the Clinical Faculty and Preceptor Academies Program. These awards will support partnerships between academics, clinicians and the community designed to support clinical nursing faculty and educators, which will help increase the program’s capacity to train more nurses.

HRSA is also awarding $4.75 million to 14 Registered Nurse Training Program honorees to increase the number of nursing students being trained in acute care facilities. This program aims to improve health outcomes and health equity by strengthening the capacity and skills of undergraduate nursing students who are prepared to provide high quality, culturally sensitive care in underserved communities.

The ongoing COVID pandemic has further highlighted the need for well-trained and culturally competent nurses. Registered Nurse Training Program awardees will address this need through innovative nursing education models with a strong focus on acute care nursing needs. These models will prepare nursing students to practice collaborative interprofessional team-based nursing in acute care settings, to identify and understand the social determinants of health in underserved communities, and to address complex nursing needs of populations at highest risk for health disparities.

A list of award winners can be found here:

Learn more about HRSA’s efforts to support healthcare workers.

Read White House Factsheet: Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Steps to Improve Quality in Nursing Homes

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