Share This Page

February 2013



Volume 10, Issue 2


Update: Title VIII Funding - FY 2013
Harkin to Leave Senate in 2014
AHRQ Proposes Study Focusing on Educational Needs of Students of Health Professions
In the Wake of the Newtown Massacre


NLN Government Affairs Action Center
NLN Public Policy

Update: Title VIII Funding - FY 2013

The current Continuing Resolution (CR) that runs through March 27 funds Title VIII programs at essentially FY 2012-enacted levels. According to a bulletin issued by OMB, CR funding will be based on funding levels provided in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (P.L. 112-74), after adjusting for any transfers required by law. P.L. 112-74 requires a 0.189 percent across-the-board reduction for most HHS programs.

The FY 2013 CR also provides for a 0.612 percent across-the-board increase for most federal programs. The OMB bulletin advises that such increases will not be apportioned automatically, and that agencies may submit a written request to OMB for that funding. Agencies also may submit a written apportionment to request funds "if either the House or the Senate [full Appropriations Committee] has reported or passed a bill that provides no funding for an account at the time the CR is enacted or extended," as apportionments for those accounts will not be applied automatically.

Below is a chart of the Title VIII programs before the across-the-board cuts outlined above.

Program FY 2013
Advanced Education Nursing $63.925 million
Nurse Education, Practice, and Retention $39.182 million
Nursing Workforce Diversity $15.819 million
Loan Repayment and Scholarship Program $83.135 million
Comprehensive Geriatric Education $4.485 million
Nursing Faculty Loan Program $24.553 million
Subtotal, Title VIII $231.099 million

Rumors continue about the potential for an FY 2013 omnibus appropriations bill — that may include the Labor-HHS-Ed spending bill — in advance of the March 27 expiration of the current CR.

Harkin to Leave Senate in 2014

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), has announced that he will not run for reelection in 2014. Harkin, who also chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, joins Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV), another Senate supporter of nursing and public health programs, who has announced that he also will not seek another term in 2014. Rockefeller chairs the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care.

Harkin was elected to the Senate in 1984 after serving five terms in the House. He assumed the HELP Committee chairmanship in September 2009, following the death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA). A passionate advocate of programs for the poor and disabled, Harkin was the principal sponsor of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. He was also primarily responsible for the Prevention and Wellness Title of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which provides more than $1 billion annually in steadily increasing funding for public health activities until fiscal year 2015, when the funding will increase to $2 billion per year.

Next in line for the committee's top spot among Democrats is Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (MD). The committee's ranking Republican is Senator Lamar Alexander (TN).

AHRQ Proposes Study Focusing on Educational Needs of Students of Health Professions

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is proposing to conduct a project, "Evaluating the Knowledge and Educational Needs of Students of Health Professions on Patient Centered Outcomes Research." AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program is the government's first to conduct patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR). PCOR assesses benefits and harms of preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, palliative, or health delivery system interventions. It helps clinicians, patients, and caregivers make decisions about health care choices by highlighting comparisons and outcomes that matter to people, e.g., survival, function, symptoms, and health-related quality of life. The program funds researchers, research centers, and academic organizations to work with AHRQ to produce effectiveness and comparative effectiveness research.

Recognizing the importance of exposing clinicians in training to PCOR, including fully understanding their role and value in shared clinical decision making, the program is developing tools, such as faculty slide sets on comparative effectiveness reviews of the literature, to reach this audience through traditional clinical curricula. However, exposure to PCOR may occur and be more effective in non-traditional extracurricular settings, such as special interest projects created and sponsored by student groups or even web-based events involving social media.

To this end, the proposed project is an evaluation study addressing AHRQ's need for a report to inform strategic planning for dissemination and educational activities targeted to clinicians in training. The evaluation is intended to assess students' and faculties' needs and preferences for integrating PCOR into the health professions' curricula, learning environment, and other training opportunities through a series of structured interviews with selected faculty members and an online survey directed at students in the health professions.

For more information on the proposed project, and to submit your comments to AHRQ, go to

In the Wake of the Newtown Massacre

In a statement dated December 20, 2012, the NLN joined more than 30 other nursing organizations in calling on policymakers to:

  • Restore access to mental health services for individuals and families.
  • Increase students' access to nurses and mental health professionals from the elementary school level through college.
  • Ban assault weapons and enact other meaningful gun control reforms to protect society.

"Like the rest of the nation, America's nurses are heartbroken as we grieve the unthinkable loss and profound tragedy that unfolded last week in Newtown, Connecticut. This horrific event is a tipping point and serves as a call to action. The nation's nurses demand that political and community leaders across this country address longstanding societal needs to help curb this endless cycle of senseless violence. The nation's nurses raise our collective voice to advocate on behalf of all of those who need our care. As a nation, we must commit to ending this cycle of preventable violence, death, and trauma."

Click here for a copy of the full statement.


us-map-smShortage of Nurse Educators Still Looms in Oregon

Late last year, the Oregon Center for Nursing (OCN) released Oregon Nurse Faculty Workforce 2011, a report that reinforced earlier predictions of a serious nurse faculty shortage in the state. According to the OCN, one-fourth of Oregon nurse educators plan to retire within five years, and another one-fourth plan to leave within 10. Only about 13 percent of nurse educators are younger than 40.

At the same time, enrollment in Oregon nursing schools is increasing — 184 percent since 2001. Yet for every qualified applicant accepted, at least one is turned away. Simply put, there are not enough teachers in Oregon nursing schools. The OCN suggests graduate students work as teaching assistants to help alleviate faculty shortages.

The report in its entirety can be found at