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AORN Federal Government Affairs Update - July

Publish Date: July 22, 2020

The U.S. House of Representatives Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS-ED) Appropriations Subcommittee recently released their FY 2021 appropriations bill and summary. Of note, the proposed LHHS-ED bill includes a $10 million increase to Title VIII Nursing Workforce Development Programs for a total of $269.972 million, $47 billion for the National Institutes of Health, and a $1.454 million increase to the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) for a total of $170.567 million in FY 2021. In late June, AORN joined 61 other nursing organizations in a letter to the subcommittee to advocate for these much-needed funding increases for FY 2021.

Shannon Zenk, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN was recently named director of the National Institute of Nursing Research. She is a registered nurse, researcher, educator, and leader. Dr. Zenk is expected to officially assume the director role in early fall. The agency had a series of acting directors after Patricia Grady, PhD, RN, FAAN, retired in 2018, and AORN looks forward to this permanent position of nursing leadership for NINR.

Congress may pass another COVID-19 relief package before the August district work period. Possible provisions of the next bill include liability protection for providers, a second stimulus check for individuals, and additional support for state and local governments. AORN will continue to monitor progress on any new stimulus bill, particularly as it may affect operating rooms and health care worker and patient safety.