Affordable Care Act Increases the Need for Nurse Recruitment

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, July 30th, 2013

During Nurses Week, Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, called nurses the “healthcare providers at the heart of our healthcare system.”

Sebelius said, “The Affordable Care Act and the expansion of access to healthcare that it offers will not be possible without these trusted professionals. The healthcare law’s emphasis on keeping people healthy, preventing illness and managing chronic conditions opens new opportunities for nurses to shape and lead the future delivery of healthcare and capitalizes on the expertise of the nursing profession.”

As an example, Sebelius cited $1.5 billion in appropriations to increase home visits from nurses and social workers to expectant mothers in high-risk communities. “Nurses making home visits can sharply reduce infant mortality and improve outcomes for mothers and children alike,” she said.

Through the Affordable Care Act, the number of training and educational opportunities for nursing students and graduates to acquire the skills necessary to enter the health workforce is expanding, Sebelius said.

Through several advanced nursing education initiatives (, for example, an additional 2,800 nurse practitioners and nurse midwives will enter the primary care workforce over the next five years.

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