Healthcare Reform Provides Funding to Educate Advance-Practice Nurses

Graduate Nurse Education Demonstration is a model program to educate advance-practice nurses.  A little-known provision of the healthcare reform bill is a $200 million appropriation that creates a demonstration program whose goal is to educate more advanced-practice nurses who will provide primary and preventative care, as well as chronic care management.  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act orders the Department of Health and Human Services to establish the Graduate Nurse Education Program.  Under the directive, five hospitals nationally will receive federal funding to train clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, certified-registered nurse anesthetists and certified-nurse midwives.

Hospitals must partner – and share their federal dollars – with at least one qualified nursing education program and more than two community-based healthcare centers or walk-in clinics.  The four-year program will receive $50 million a year through Medicare and present a report on progress to Congress by 2017.

AARP immediately gave kudos to the program for its goal of educating nurses to learn the skills needed to care for Medicare patients.  According to Senior Vice President Susan Reinhard, “The Graduate Nurse Education Demonstration Program aims to increase the number of highly skilled advance-practice nurses available to care for Americans by providing $200 million to bolster the training of these key healthcare professionals.  Advance-practice nurses can provide the primary and preventive care, chronic care management and care coordination necessary to reduce waste and bring down costs while increasing access and quality.”

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