With all the continually advancing medical research and discoveries, it is important to advocate for political action to ensure funding and education for nurses. The bill H.R. 959: Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2018 was created to amend title VIII of the Public Health Service Act in order to extend advanced education nursing grants to support specialist programs, among other purposes (H.R. 959, 2018). This bill, among others like it, were created to benefit nurses and the nursing profession. However, through these advancements, it is the patients who will ultimately benefit the most.
Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act of 2018 was made in order to support nurses and nurse leaders by providing easier access to education, scholarships, and grants. Through this bill, nurses will become more skilled in various areas of care, thus being able to provide better quality care throughout the country. It promotes the importance of care for patient groups that are considered high-risk or unsuitable. These groups include elderly, patients with poor mental health, drug or alcohol abusers, homeless, HIV or AIDs positive patients, and victims of domestic abuse. This bill will allow for programs that give nurses the tools to help these diverse groups. H.R. 959 promotes career advancement in the form of opportunities for further education, training, and internships.
It focuses on LPNs, diploma and associate degree nurses, certified nurse assistants, and licensed vocational nurses receiving education to become baccalaureate-prepared nurses, or even go on to receive graduate nursing education. It helps those who wish to enter the profession by assisting them in receiving education and providing career counseling through mentorship. It also seeks to create internships, fellowships, and residencies in order to increase mentorship and aid in the development of specialties. Overall, I believe the bill would be extremely beneficial, especially when accounting for the nursing shortage the country is currently facing. With the seemingly never-ending shortage of nursing staff, it is vital that the registered nurses who are practicing are skilled enough to assist a diverse group of patients. This bill makes advanced education and training a viable option for working nurses, especially if there is sufficient funding for these programs.
Along with the programs benefiting registered nurses, it will also grab the attention of those trying to decide what they would like their career to be. If there is support behind nursing as a profession, more people will want to join the profession, thus impacting the shortage. I support this bill fully and see it almost as an investment in the future of healthcare. While the funding and education directly benefit nursing, it ultimately benefits the profession overall. When the nursing profession benefits, the populations well-being as a whole improves greatly. Nurses are vital in the health care profession, for they are the people who are with patients and providing essential care throughout the patients stay. When nurses are more skilled, more educated, and more advanced, the care patients receive is far greater. Nursing organizations, such as the ANA, AACN, and NLN, have shown their support for this bill. In my letter to Todd Kaminsky, I would implore him to show his support for this bill in order to make it law.
This bill was originally introduced to the House in February of 2017 by a republican from Ohio named Dave Joyce. After passing all committees and amendments, it was then debated by the House on July 23 of 2018 where it was approved and then sent to the Senate. The Senate received and read the bill before passing it along to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. As of November 2018, that is the last action of bill H.R. 959. If the bill continues to progress and ultimately gets approved by the Senate, it will then be sent to the President where he can then sign off on the bill or veto it. However, if two-thirds of congress vote to override the veto, the bill will ultimately become a law. This bill has a hundred and five cosponsors, of these cosponsors eighty-five are democrats and the other 20 are republicans.