AACN Applauds the Obama Administration for its Continued Support of Nursing Education in the FY 2013 Budget

WASHINGTON, DC, February 13, 2012- Today, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) commends the Obama Administration for its continued investment in the nursing workforce as outlined in the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 budget. Among the funding recommendations for the Department of Health and Human Services, the President proposes $251 million for the Nursing Workforce Development Programs, which support the preparation of entry-level nurses, advanced clinicians, and nurse faculty. Given the rising demand for nursing care, the proposed increase of $20 million for nursing education demonstrates clear recognition of the important role nurses play in our healthcare system.

“The demands on America’s healthcare system are mounting, and a sustainable investment in the nursing workforce is essential to ensure patients receive high quality care,” said AACN President Kathleen Potempa. “While the nation’s economic climate has required the federal government to take action to reduce the deficit, AACN appreciates President Obama proposing increased funding for the programs needed to support the next generation of registered nurses.”

America’s nursing schools continuously struggle to increase enrollment to meet the growing demand for health care. Preliminary survey data from AACN show that 51,082 qualified applications were turned away from 503 entry-level baccalaureate nursing programs in 2011. For more than a decade, nursing schools have cited the lack of faculty, and in particular doctoral faculty, as well as budget constraints as major contributors to not accepting all qualified applicants. Many of the nation’s nursing schools depend on federal dollars to support their students, faculty, and educational programs. If enacted by Congress, this funding increase would continue to uphold the efforts of our nation’s nursing programs to meet healthcare demands.

President’s Budget Proposes Near Level Funding in Nursing Research

In the FY 2013 budget proposal, the President is calling for level funding for the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) for a total of $144 million. AACN is disappointed that there was no proposed increased for NINR funding, which will hamper the efforts of nurse scientists working to discover innovations that improve patient care and quality of life.

AACN fully recognizes the difficult decisions Congress must make to reduce the federal deficit. However, it is essential that continued support remain strong for nursing education and research. Without a sustained investment in these programs, the continuum of care provided by America’s nurses is in jeopardy. As Congress begins to prepare their FY 2013 budget and appropriations, AACN is committed to raising awareness of the significant impact federal dollars make in supporting schools of nursing, their students, faculty, and researchers. In March, AACN will host an advocacy day that will bring nursing deans and students from across the country to Capitol Hill. These AACN members will provide the constituent voice to legislators and describe, first hand, the importance of Title VIII and NINR.

“AACN is committed to sharing with Congress the value quality nursing care and research provides American patients and their families,” said Dr. Potempa. “We will work with our colleagues in the nursing and public health communities to advocate for the funding these critical programs need.”

AACN will continue to provide more information as additional details become available.

For more information on the President’s Budget, see: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget, http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/budget.pdf

For more information on the HHS Budget in Brief, see: http://www.hhs.gov/budget/budget-brief-fy2013.pdf


The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for university and four-year college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 690 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN's educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications, and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor's- and graduate-degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. www.aacn.nche.edu.


Robert Rosseter, 202-463-6930, ext. 231