AACN Applauds the Release of New Federal Funding to Support Graduate Nursing Education

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 30, 2012 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) applauds the announcement made earlier today by United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius that recognized the academic-practice partnerships to receive support through the Graduate Nurse Education (GNE) Demonstration. GNE is a new funding stream dedicated to advanced practice nursing education that was created through the Affordable Care Act.

AACN Executive Director and CEO Geraldine “Polly” Bednash joined Secretary Sebelius for a public announcement to answer questions about this innovative model that funds the clinical education of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). As the only nursing organization invited to participate in this national press event, Dr. Bednash expressed AACN’s support for the GNE Demonstration and acknowledged the collaborative work by AACN, the advanced practice community, and AARP to see this program come to fruition.

“AACN is excited that the release of these new dollars will directly support graduate nursing education,” said AACN President Jane Kirschling. “APRNs are vital to ensuring access to high-quality, cost-effective care for our nation. This federal investment demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to supporting nurses as essential providers within the healthcare team.”

“With this important initiative, we are putting more advanced practice nurses on the front lines of our health care system and further strengthening and growing our primary care workforce,” said Secretary Sebelius.

The five awardees include:

  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Duke University Hospital (Durham, NC)
  • Scottsdale Healthcare Medical Center (Scottsdale, AZ)
  • Rush University Medical Center (Chicago, IL)
  • Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center Hospital (Houston, TX)

Enacted into law by the Affordable Care Act [Public Law No. 114-148], the GNE Demonstration (Section 5509), stipulates that up to five hospitals or critical access hospitals will be selected for this program. The hospital awardees listed above have entered into a partnership with one or more schools of nursing and two or more non-hospital, community-based care settings. The total amount of available funding for the program is $200 million over a four-year period. The reimbursement can only be used for the costs of clinical training for an increased number of APRN enrollments.

“AACN commends the groundbreaking academic practice partnerships that have been created through this demonstration,” said Dr. Kirschling. “It represents a strong and purposeful step forward to enhance collaboration among nursing schools and their practice colleagues that will increase the number of APRNs providing exceptional care to Americans.”

For more information on today’s announcement about the GNE Demonstration, see http://www.innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/gne.

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 700 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