Mark Your Calendars for AACN’s Virtual Advocacy Day
On Monday, October 24, 2011, AACN will host its second Virtual Advocacy Day in conjunction with the in-person meetings our members will make on Capitol Hill. During our Spring Virtual Advocacy Day, a total of 799 messages were sent to federal legislators in addition to the 101 visits made by over 200 AACN deans and directors as well as AACN Student Policy Summit attendees. During the weeks leading up to the event, AACN's Grassroots network grew by 32.2%. The collective voice of over 1,000 nurses and nursing students echoed through the halls of Congress requesting support for nursing education and research!
Now, more than ever, we must repeat the success of our Spring advocacy efforts and further expand them. As AACN reported on September 30, 2011, the House draft Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations bill proposes to cut the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development programs by a historic 55.9%. If enacted, this decimation of funds would bring the allocation for Title VIII from $242.387 million to $106.828 million. Of significant concern, the draft bill eliminates the Nursing Loan Repayment and Scholarship programs as well as the Comprehensive Geriatric Education grants. Moreover, it cuts the Nurse Faculty Loan program by 68.4% at a time when schools of nursing across the country point to faculty shortages as the prime reason for turning away qualified applicants. Further still, it proposes a 20% cut to the Advanced Education Nursing program.
Nursing MUST educate the House or Representatives on the importance of these programs in order to combat a grave policy decision that will affect the educational infrastructure and workforce supply now and into the future.
As of today over 2,700 AACN constituents belong to the Grassroots Network, but this must grow to make a monumental impact on Capitol Hill. Please share this message with your nursing school colleagues, both students and faculty, and offer the opportunity that they join AACN's Grassroots Network. By doing so, they will be able to weigh in on October 24, 2011 and help provide national education to policy makers on the role nurses play in caring for America's patients.
To join, see: http://capwiz.com/aacn/mlm/signup/
With your help, it will prove to be a day where professional nursing education unites on a common message: The proposed cuts to Title VIII must be reconsidered for the safety and health of our nation.
For disability-related accommodations, including dietary accommodations, please visit www.ada.umb.edu two weeks prior to the event.