Recognizing the critical need to expand advanced practices RNs’ (APRNs’) education and training and geographically diverse work opportunities, especially in rural and underserved communities, Representatives Lauren Underwood (D-IL), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), and Steven Horsford (D-NV) introduced the Educating Future Nurses Act in the U.S. House of Representatives in May 2023. At the same time, Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) introduced the legislation in the U.S. Senate.

The legislation creates a federal funding stream for hospitals to partner with schools of nursing, community-based care settings, and other hospitals to reduce cost-related barriers for graduate nursing students who are seeking clinical training. 

“There is currently no federal funding stream that invests in graduate nursing education, and the Educating Future Nurses Act establishes one within Medicare. As a registered nurse and vice chair of the Congressional Nursing Caucus, I’m proud to introduce this legislation with Bonamici and Horsford,” Underwood said. “By permanently establishing a national graduate nurse education program that strengthens partnerships between hospitals and nursing schools, future APRNs will be able to receive additional training and practice options while they provide high-quality care to patients, especially in rural and underserved communities. This is a critical part of a comprehensive strategy to support the nursing workforce, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to pass this legislation.”

Investment in a robust nursing workforce is an ONS public health priority, and funding workforce education and training is part of the 2023 ONS Health Policy Agenda. Learn how you can join ONS in advocating for your profession with your local, state, and federal policymakers.