By Michelle Clarke
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) issued a strong response late last week to President Trump’s proposed fiscal year budget for 2020. The proposed budget includes substantial cuts to Medicare and Medicaid over the next 10 years. The budget calls for an $800 billion decrease in funding for Medicare and a $200 billion decrease in funding for Medicaid. Additionally, the president’s budget also recommends cutting $8.5 billion from the Department of Education.
In the release, the AACN said they “strongly oppose decreasing federal dollars by this magnitude and believes that safeguarding the public is not only done through defense, but by supporting academic and public health efforts as well.”
This budget cut affects institutions for higher education and will have an impact on educating the nursing workforce in all communities throughout the country, including rural and underserved areas.
"Supporting the growth of the nursing workforce is a necessary investment to ensure that the nurses educated today are ready for the challenges of tomorrow. Nursing is not immune to what would result in diminished financial support for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as our faculty and programs," says Deborah Trautman, PhD, RN, FAAN, AACN president and chief executive officer, in a release.
Additionally, the AACN states discrepancies in the amount of proposed cuts to Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development programs. Only one program, the NURSE Corps, a scholarship program, is unaffected and the budget stays the same at $83 million in FY 2020. The National Institutes of Health faces cuts of $5 billion, which if passed, will reduce the National Institute of Nursing Research’s budget by $23 million.
"Federal funding for Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development programs is essential to our nursing schools, students, and profession,” said Ann Cary, PhD, MPH, RN, FNAP, FAAN, chair of AACN's board of directors. “Cuts to these programs directly impact the health of America and conflict with the academic nursing mission to prepare a highly-educated nursing workforce."