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Nursing: Title VIII Program Legislation

Title I: Nurse Recruitment

  • Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to promote the nursing profession through public service announcements. Permits the Secretary to make grants to support State and local advertising campaigns, excluding particular employment opportunities.
  • Expands eligibility for the nursing loan repayment program to include service at any health care facility with a critical shortage of nurses. Restricts service to nonprofits after FY 2007.
  • Directs the Secretary to provide nursing scholarships in exchange for at least two years of nursing services at facilities with a critical shortage. Makes such program discretionary after FY 2004.
    • Permits part-time service if the aggregate service equals two full-time years.
    • Treats such scholarships, for repayment purposes, as equivalent to those made under the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program, except as specified.
    • Grants preference according to financial need.
    • Requires detailed, annual reports to Congress on the loan and scholarship programs, including numbers, demographics, and default rates.
    • Leaves allocation of funds between the loan and scholarship programs to the discretion of the Secretary.

Title II: Nurse Retention

  • Authorizes the Secretary to award grants or contracts to schools of nursing or health care facilities to expand nursing opportunities:

    (1) in education, through increased enrollment in four-year degree programs, internship and residency programs, or new technologies such as distance learning; and

    (2) in practice, through care to underserved populations, care in noninstitutional settings or organized health care systems, and through developing cultural competencies. Makes career ladder programs and activities which enhance professional collaboration, communication, and decision-making eligible for a grant award.

  • Directs the Secretary to award grants for geriatric care training programs.
  • Authorizes the Secretary, acting through the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, to establish a student loan fund to increase the number of qualified nursing faculty. Cancels up to 85 % of such loan according to a schedule of employment milestones.
  • Requires the Comptroller General to study and report to Congress within four years on:

(1) national variations in nursing shortages;

(2) any differences in nurse hiring practices between profit and nonprofit private entities because of the inclusion of for-profit private entities in the loan repayment program; and

(3) whether the scholarship program increased applications to nursing schools.

  • Authorizes appropriations for all programs for FY 2003 through 2007.
  • Signed August 1, 2002

(Subtitle B – Nursing Workforce Development- Nursing Education and Practice Improvement Act of 1998 )

  • Replaces Public Health Service Act title VIII (Nurse Education) (except provisions relating to student loans, the loan repayment program, and sex discrimination) with a new title on nursing workforce development.
  • Requires that grants and contracts be awarded competitively.
  • Authorizes grants and contracts to:

    (1) enhance advanced nursing education and practice and traineeships for individuals in advanced nursing education programs;

    (2) increase nursing education opportunities for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds by providing scholarships or stipends, pre-entry preparation, and retention activities; and

    (3) strengthen capacity for basic nurse education and practice. Authorizes appropriations and regulates related allocations.

  • Establishes the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice.
  • (signed November 13, 1998)

Page last updated: November 7, 2006

Other Nursing Resources

National Institute of Nursing Research basic & clinical research, research training & development

Environmental Health Nursing Initiative (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention)

National Council of State Boards of Nursing (not a U.S. Government Web site) includes links to State Boards of Nursing for licensure & certification information

American Association of Colleges of Nursing (not a U.S. Government Web site)

National League for Nursing (not a U.S. Government Web site)

Honor Society of Nursing (not a U.S. Government Web site)