08.02.06

Schumer: More Than $127,000 Awarded To Nurse Training Programs In New York City

Federal dollars will allow for development of the nursing field and improved medical care throughout the city

US Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the CUNY Research Foundation and Trustees of Columbia University will receive a combined $127,175 in federal funds for nurse training programs. The money was awarded through the Advanced Education Nursing Traineeships Grant Program and it will create opportunities for nurses trainees, help to advance their medical education and ultimately, improve health care in New York. CUNY will receive $18,693, and $108,482 will go to Trustees of Columbia University.

Nurses account for a large and integral portion of the medical workforce and we can not afford a shortage. If we dont aggressively take steps to recruit, educate, and retain more nurses, patients will not be able to expect the level of care they've come to rely on, Schumer said. "That jeopardizes quality patient care and, even worse, increases the potential for mistakes that threaten patient safety. The funding for the Nurses Education Program will help to ensure that nurse trainees are getting the training they need to move forward in their profession.

The Advanced Education Nursing Traineeships Grant Program provides funding to schools of nursing, academic health centers and other public or private nonprofit entities to support traineeships for registered nurses enrolled in advanced education nursing programs. The programs provide training to prepare nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, nurse administrators, nurse educators, public health nurses, and nurses in other specialties that require advanced education.

In 2003 Schumer was a chief sponsor of the Nurse Reinvestment Act (P.L. 107205) which provides scholarships to nursing students who agree to provide at least two years of service in a health care facility with a critical nursing shortage. It creates career ladders to help nurses and other health professionals advance in their careers, provides loan cancellation for nurses with advanced agrees in exchange for teaching at a school of nursing, improved nurse retention by promoting nurse involvement in organizational decisionmaking and provides specialized training for nurses.

This Congress, Schumer had been leading the fight to invest adequate funding in these programs. Current funding levels fail to meet the growing need for nurses. In fiscal year 2004, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) was forced to turn away 82% of the applicants for the Nurse Education Loan Repayment Program (NELRP) and 98% of the applicants for the Nursing Scholarship program due to lack of adequate funding. He is calling for $23 million, bringing the total to $176 million for Title VIII nursing education.



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