HHS Grants $30M to Ease Nursing Shortage

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have granted $30 million to attract more people into the field of nursing.

More than $22 million will be distributed to colleges, universities and other organizations, while $8 million will be spent to repay loans of healthcare workers willing to work two years in a public or nonprofit health facility.

Charles H. Roadman II, MD, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association (AHCA) says the staffing shortage directly impacts patient care.

"Increasing the number of front line caregivers will have a direct impact on the quality of care provided to the nation's elderly and disabled - and this should be a top public policy objective," he says. "The HHS grant designed to increases the number of qualified nurses and the quality of nursing services across the country is timely and necessary. As these grants are generally targeted toward increasing the numbers of nurses with advanced degrees, we urge Secretary Thompson to ensure the dire shortage of front line caregivers in the long term care sector receives specific attention."

According to Roadman, there are more than 100,000 licensed nurse and certified nurse aide jobs currently unfilled in nursing homes nationally.