Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Calls on Congress to Strengthen and Grow Nation’s Nursing Workforce

July 17, 2019
Press Release
Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) applauded the passage of H.R.728, the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The bill passed out of committee by unanimous vote now awaits consideration by the full House of Representatives.
 
“Our nation is in dire need of nurses who, every day, serve as the heart of our healthcare system, providing care to those who need it most. Rural and underserved communities, like those in my district and across the country, are hardest hit by the national nursing shortage,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “As a co-chair of the Congressional Nursing Caucus, passage of our bipartisan bill, the Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act, by the Energy and Commerce Committee is the first step toward the urgent action Congress must take to ensure we build a 21st Century nursing workforce that will serve the needs of all our people.”
 
“Without a strong nursing workforce, our country cannot realize the goals of increasing access and improving quality in our healthcare system,” said Dr. Ann Cary, Chair of the AACN Board of Directors. “I commend our nursing champions¸ including Congresswoman Gabbard our House Nursing Caucus Co-Chair, for advancing this legislation to the House floor.”
 
“We applaud the work of our nursing champions to advance Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization,” said Dr. Deborah Trautman, President and Chief Executive Officer of AACN. “Nurses are an integral part of our healthcare system, and this legislation is vital to the continued health of our profession.”
 
Background: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has championed legislation that helps America’s nurses and strengthens the U.S. nursing workforce. She is the co-chair of the Congressional Nursing Caucus and introduced the bipartisan H.R.728, the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act with caucus co-chair Rep. Dave Joyce (OH-14).
 
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard continues to work for improved workplace safety and standards for nurses. She fought for the Safe Staffing for Nurse and Patient Safety Act of 2018, the Health Care Workplace Violence Prevention Act, and hosted a Congressional briefing focused on the severe shortage of nurses in Hawai‘i and across the country.
 
She recently joined her colleagues in introducing the Nurse Staffing Standards for Hospital Patient Safety and Quality Care Act which would set minimum nurse-to-patient staffing requirements for direct-care registered nurses, requires a study of staffing requirements for direct care licensed practice nurses, and provides whistleblower protections.
 
The Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act provides the largest source of federal funding for nursing education, offering financial support for education programs, individual students, and nurses. For five decades, these programs have helped build the supply and distribution of qualified nurses in all health care settings, from entry-level preparation through graduate study. According to the HRSA, these programs provided loans, scholarships, and programmatic support to over 450,000 nursing students and nurses between FY 2006 and 2012 alone.
 
About Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is serving her fourth term in the United States House representing Hawaii’s Second District, and serves on the House Armed Services and Financial Services Committees. She previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Homeland Security Committee. She was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 2010, and prior to that at age 21, was elected to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in 2002, becoming the youngest person ever elected in the state. Tulsi Gabbard has served in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard for 16 years, is a veteran of two Middle East deployments, and continues to serve as a Major. Learn more about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard...
 
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