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HHS Invests $13 Million to Grow and Strengthen the Nursing Workforce

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded $13 million to bolster nursing education and training to grow the nursing workforce and improve access to nursing education. Today’s awards are part of a series of Biden-Harris Administration investments across HHS and the Department of Labor to support pathways into good-quality nursing jobs. Investing in the nursing workforce pipeline is a key pillar of President Biden’s action plan to improve the safety and quality of care in the nation’s nursing homes.

“Nurses are an essential part of our nation’s health care system,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “We are committed to growing the next generation of nurses and ensuring the education and training they receive prepares them to provide high-quality culturally competent care. Supporting nurses and other frontline health professionals providing care in our communities is critical to improving our nation’s health and wellbeing.”

“Nurses have been true heroes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, delivering lifesaving care on the frontlines despite unprecedented challenges,” said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. “Today’s announcement is part of HRSA’s commitment to strengthening nursing training and education and growing the next generation of the nursing workforce.”

One significant factor constraining admissions to nursing schools is the limited availability of nursing preceptors (experienced licensed clinicians who supervise nursing students during their clinical rotations). Nursing preceptors are a critical bridge between training and practice, providing direct instruction to nursing students in the clinical setting. Without sufficient preceptors, nursing schools cannot admit as many students, new students are delayed in starting their clinical rotations, and prospective nursing students may be stymied and choose other career paths. 

Today’s investment works to reverse this trend. HRSA is awarding over $8.4 million to 10 awardees through the Clinical Faculty and Preceptor Academies Program. These awards will support partnerships among academics, clinicians, and the community designed to support clinical nursing faculty and preceptors, which will help increase the capacity of program to train more nurses.

HRSA is also awarding $4.75 million to 14 awardees through the Registered Nurse Training Program to increase the number of nursing students trained in acute care settings. This program aims to improve health outcomes and health equity by strengthening the capacity and skillset of undergraduate student nurses prepared to provide high quality culturally sensitive care in underserved communities.

The ongoing COVID pandemic has further highlighted the need for a well-trained and culturally competent nursing workforce. Registered Nurse Training Program awardees will address this need through innovative nursing education models with a strong focus on nursing needs in acute care. These models will prepare nursing students to practice collaborative interprofessional team-based care in acute care settings, identify and understand the social determinates of health present in underserved communities, and address complex care needs of populations at highest risk for health disparities.

Read this press release at HHS.gov

See a list of award recipients here:

Learn more about HRSA’s efforts to support the health workforce – PDF.

Read the White House Fact Sheet: Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Steps to Improve Quality of Nursing Homes

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