More Funding Going Toward Nursing Workforce

Department of Health and Human Services is investing $100 million in nursing workforce.

Male and female nurses standing in a corridor smiling.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says it is awarding more than $100 million to train and grow the nation’s nursing workforce and address increasing demand for registered nurses, nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and nurse faculty.

Under HHS’s Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), the awards focus on key priorities including helping licensed practical nurses to become registered nurses. 

To that end, HRSA will allocate about $8.7 million for the Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention-Pathway to Registered Nurse Program to create a pathway for licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses to become registered nurses. 

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About $34.8 million will be used for the Advanced Nursing Education Workforce Program to increase the number of primary care nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse midwives trained and prepared to provide primary care services, mental health and substance use disorder care, and/or maternal health care.

HRSA will invest about $30 million in the the Advanced Nursing Education-Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Program (ANE-NPRF), with the aim of increasing the number of trained advanced practice nurses in primary care.

Bottlenecks to be addressed

To address bottlenecks in nurse training, the agency is investing about $26.5 million to the Nurse Faculty Loan Program, which will award recipient schools to provide low-interest loans and loan cancellation incentives to encourage nurses to pursue careers as nursing school faculty.

About $2.25 million will be used for the Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship Program to increase the supply and distribution of certified registered nurse anesthetists, HSRA said.

“Nurses are an essential part of our nation’s health care system,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in announcing the awards. “Now more than ever, we need to double down on our investments in nurses who care for communities across the country.”

That is in line with a study cited in April by the American Hospital Association (AHA) that looked at the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the nursing industry. Some 100,000 registered nurses left the workforce in two years “due to stress, burnout and retirements and another 610,388 reported an intent to leave by 2027,” AHA said, citing the study released by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Separately, HRSA announced last week it awarded $30 million to 151 health centers nationwide that receive HRSA funding. The investment is intended to improve developmental outcomes for children ages 0-5 through increased screenings and follow-up services.

A listing of the centers by state that received the HRSA awards is available here

Joey Solitro

Joey Solitro is a freelance financial journalist at Kiplinger with more than a decade of experience. A longtime equity analyst, Joey has covered a range of industries for media outlets including The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, Market Realist, and TipRanks. Joey holds a bachelor's degree in business administration.