The Biden Administration has announced it will invest $100 million to train new nurses and upskill existing nurses.
The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) unveiled a package of five investments Friday that inject funding into programs that help increase the supply of nurses in the U.S., amid an ongoing nursing workforce shortage. The grants focus on training nurses to become registered nurses (RNs), primary care nurses, and nurse anesthetists.
“Nurses are an essential part of our nation’s health care system,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra in a statement. “Now more than ever, we need to double down on our investments in nurses who care for communities across the country.”
The American Nurses Association (ANA) hailed the investments as a needed boost for a long-standing national problem.
“ANA stands ready to partner and collaborate around the key priorities and focus of the award efforts. It’s especially great to see that this action will deploy necessary training and support to advanced practice registered nurses,” ANA President Jennifer Mensik Kennedy said in a statement. “We are pleased with this action, but we will remain firm in urging Congress to address chronic systemic challenges that nurses are facing every day. Workplace violence, burnout, low wages, and the national nurse staffing crisis still demand immediate solutions.”
Here is the breakdown of HRSA’s investments in the nursing community.
A $100 Million Investment: Overview
Colleges and universities are the primary grantees for most of the new grants.
HRSA’s investments include:
- Nurse Education Practice Quality and Retention-Pathway to Registered Nurse Program (NEPQR-PRNP)
- Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) Program
- Advanced Nursing Education-Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Program (ANE-NPRF)
- Nurse Faculty Loan Program
- Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship (NAT) Program
Registered Nurse Pathways
HRSA granted $8.7 million for the NEPQR-PRNP. This program trains licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses to become RNs.
Nine grantees received funds through this allocation. Seven colleges and universities are among the grantees, including:
- Ohio State University
- Kent State University
- University of South Alabama
- University of Louisville
- University of Montana
- Rivier University
- San Juan Bautista School of Medicine
Advanced Nursing Education Workforce
The ANEW program received $34.8 million through this latest round of grants. This program aims to increase the number of primary care nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse midwives who can also provide primary care services, mental health and substance misuse care, and maternal healthcare.
Fifty-six grantees will receive a portion of the ANEW program grant. Award amounts range from $500,000-$650,000.
All except for one of the 56 grantees are colleges and universities across 31 states.
Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Program
HRSA granted $30 million to the ANE-NPRF. This program supports residency and fellowship training programs to increase the number of advanced practice nurses in primary care.
Forty-five grantees will receive funds through this program. Awards amounts range between $500,000 and $700,000. Grantees include higher education institutions, health systems, healthcare centers, and hospitals.
Nurse Faculty Loans
The Nurse Faculty Loan Program received $26.5 million in this latest round of funding. This program awards forgivable loans to nurses who return to school for a graduate degree. If these students work at a public college or university for four years, 85% of the loans awarded through this program will be forgiven.
Eighty-eight colleges and universities received funds through this program. Awards range from $27,000 for the University of Massachusetts medical school to over $3.3 million for Samford University in Alabama.
Nurse Anesthetist Trainees
HRSA granted $2.3 million to the NAT program. This program aims to increase the supply and distribution of certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). Specifically, it seeks to expand access to anesthesia services to underserved communities.
All 64 grantees were colleges and universities, according to the HRSA.