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How the Affordable Care Act Impacts the Nursing Profession

How the Affordable Care Act Impacts the Nursing Profession

Kathy Quan | NursingLink

When President Obama campaigned for the presidency, he was endorsed by the American Nurses Association because he took the time to listen and understand the role of nurses in health care today. He listened to the struggles and challenges of nursing, and promised that if elected, he would address and help resolve these issues. The result of this promise is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law on March 23, 2010.

This act addresses nursing workforce issues in a number of ways:

• It provides increased funding for schools to offer loans to nurses who wish to become nurse educators. The Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) helps nurses receive loans to achieve the necessary master’s or doctoral level education to become nurse educators. The greatest focus is on doctoral education programs.

• The Nursing Student Loan Program (NLP) along with the Nursing Workforce Diversity Program were also bolstered by the Affordable Care Act. These programs allow nursing students from disadvantaged backgrounds, or those with limited financial resources, to tap into resources that allow them the opportunity to study and become successful nurses. Included in these resources are long term, low-interest student loans as well as provisions for partial loan cancellation for nurses who choose to work in designated areas of the U.S. where there is a critical shortage of health care professionals.

• The Nursing Workforce Diversity Program will also be enhanced with stipends, traineeships and retention activities to help improve the cultural diversity among nurses and improve the care to patients through better representation of the cultural diversity in our nation.

• Additionally, the Nurse Education, Practice and Retention grant program will be updated to include a refocused quality component. This will help provide nurses with a stronger background in quality improvement in order to assist in the mandated quality improvement of the entire healthcare delivery process.

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Featured Author: Kathy Quan
Kathy Quan, RN, BSN, PHN, has over 30 years of experience in home health and hospice care. Teaching patients, caregivers, and other nurses has always been a passion of hers. She also loves to write and has several websites and blogs for nurses, caregivers, and patients. Kathy has also authored four books about nursing, the health care field and caring for aging parents. Follow Kathy on Facebook and Twitter.

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    almost 4 years ago


    Unfortunately, President Obama has made a lot of promises that he hasn't kept, and all of these great programs for nurses fall into that category.

    According to the CBO, absolutely NONE of these programs have been funded under Obamacare. A Republican lawmaker sent a letter to the CBO asking about the costs of these programs, but the CBO neglected to answer until after the vote. All of these great things for nursing were not funded in order to keep the costs under $1 trillion. We have also learned, unfortuately, that costs are rising, and that the cost for insurance for the average family will RISE, as it has in Massachussets under RomneyCare, not fall as President Obama had promised.

    The Affordable Care Act is a boondoggle that will bankrupt the country even faster than other entitlement programs. It attempts to defy the laws of economics. Perhaps a class in microeconomics should be required for a nursing degree, so that nurses aren't used in the future for political purposes.

    It behooves us as nurses to understand why so many Canadian nurses are working in the United States.

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