DES PLAINES, Ill., January. 17, 2014
– The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) applauds the U.S. Senate for approving an omnibus spending bill that contains increased funding for programs important to emergency nurses.
The House of Representatives approved the spending package on Jan. 15. The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature. When signed, it will fund the federal government through Sept. 30.
“The increased funding approved by Congress today is not only important to our emergency nurses, it is important to our patients,” 2014 ENA President Deena Brecher, MSN, RN, APN, ACNS-BC, CEN, CPEN said. “By supporting programs such as nursing education, research, emergency medical services for children and poison control centers, this bill will help us to provide the quality care our patients need and deserve.”
The fiscal year 2014 omnibus spending package funds all non-mandatory federal programs. Funding for programs important to emergency nursing was increased in the legislation after several years of sharp cuts in federal support. The Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development programs received $223.8 million, which is $6.4 million more than the 2013 level. In addition, the National Institutes of Health received increases, as did the National Institute of Nursing Research, the Emergency Medical Services for Children program, poison control centers, and a program to help rural communities purchase automatic external defibrillators.
The increased funding will help emergency nurses provide critical services. Specifically,
- The Title VIII programs ensure there are enough nurses to meet America’s healthcare needs. More than 80,000 nurses and nursing students utilize Title VIII programs each year. They include nurse education and retention grants, loan repayment programs, scholarship programs and grants for students who go on to teach at a school of nursing.
- Death from poison is the second most common form of unintentional death in the United States. Poison control centers handle 3.6 million calls a year, including 720,000 from nurses and doctors who rely on the centers for immediate assessments. The funding will prevent the closure of any of the 57 U.S. centers.
- The Emergency Medical Services for Children program ensures that state-of-art emergency medical care is available for injured and ill children.
- The Rural Health – Automatic Emergency Defibrillators program was in danger of being eliminated. However, the ENA and others successfully urged the Senate to increase support for this lifesaving program.
About the Emergency Nurses Association
ENA, which has more than 40,000 members worldwide, is the only professional nursing association dedicated to defining the future of emergency nursing and emergency care through advocacy, expertise, innovation and leadership. Founded in 1970, ENA develops and disseminates education and practice standards and guidelines, and affords consultation to both private and public entities regarding emergency nurses and their practice. Additional information is available at ENA's Web site, www.ena.org or on Twitter: @ENAorg.