Congratulations to all of you!

We've made a dent in what was thought to be an almost impossible undertaking - getting funding for the Nurse Reinvestment Act in the FY 2003 budget. The House-Senate Conferees gave us $15M out of the $20M request for which we were fighting. The House agreed to the Conference report around 7 p.m. last night with the Senate following quite rapidly behind them.

The Conferees also included $3,499,000 for HRSA�s (Health Resources and Services Administration) Trauma-EMS Program, the same amount appropriated for FY 2002. Though we were asking for $5M, the amount we received should be considered a minor victory since the House went into the Conference negotiations with a $0 budget for this Program in FY 2003.

Without the cooperation and advocacy of ENA members, we couldn't have done it.

Specific information on the FY 2003 Division of Nursing Funding is now posted on ENA�s Legislative Action Center. To access the Action Center, click on �Government & Advocacy� on the ENA home page and then click on �Legislative Action Center.�

Now that we have our foot in the door, let's see if we can increase these amounts dramatically in FY 2004!

From the HRSA Section of the Conference Report on the FY 2003 Appropriations Bill
"Within the funding for health professions training, the conference agreement provides $113,502,000 for nurse training programs instead of $98,502,000 proposed by H.R. 246 and $118,502,000 proposed by the Senate. The conferees have appropriated funding to establish programs authorized under the Nurse Reinvestment Act (PL. 107-205), renamed existing line items to reflect these new authorities, and added new line items to fund these programs. The conferees have relabeled "Basic Nurse Education and Practice" the "Nurse Education, Practice, and Retention Grants" and relabeled the "Loan Repayment Program" the "Loan Repayment and Scholarship Program" to reflect the additional authorities provided under Sections 831 and 846, respectively, of the Public Health Service Act as modified by P.L. 107-205. In using the increase in funding provided above the fiscal year 2002 level, the conferees expect HRSA to give preference in funding to internship and residency programs (Sec. 831 (a)(2)), career ladder programs (Sec. 831 (c)(1)), and enhancing patient care delivery systems (Sec. 831 (c)(2)) as required under Sec. 831(e) of the PHSA. The conferees have provided funding for scholarships (Sec. 846 (d)) for nursing students in exchange for service as a nurse for at least two years at a health care facility with a critical shortage of nurses. The conferees have also appropriated funding to establish the Nurse Faculty Loan Program and Comprehensive Geriatric Education, Sections 846A and 855 of the PHSA. The Nurse Faculty Loan Program will help increase the number of faculty at schools of nursing. Comprehensive Geriatric Education will train and educate individuals in providing geriatric care for the elderly. The conferees intend that nurse loan repayment funding should be directed to high priority urban and rural areas with severe nursing shortages."