WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Dean of the Senate women, met with Maryland members of the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) to discuss the Senator’s continued work to support the nursing workforce and sustain community health through better access to quality, affordable health care. The Senator also emphasized the importance of investing in programs that educate and train students to become future nurses. The meeting was a part of the association’s “26th Annual NBNA Day on Capitol Hill,” which featured 300 nurses and nursing students from around the country.
“Every day in every way, nurses in Maryland and across the country are on the front lines providing life-saving treatments and cures,” Senator Mikulski said. “I believe that in America, every woman, man and child, regardless of the zip code they live in, should have access to the quality health care they need. I will continue to stand with NBNA as we work to move our nation from sick care to health care.”
At their meeting, Senator Mikulski discussed her continued work on behalf of nurses and expanding access to quality, affordable health care. As Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Mikulski announced that the recently-passed Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 includes $223.8 million (a $6.3 million increase) for Title VIII nursing funding. Senator Mikulski introduced the Nurse Reinvestment Act of 2002, which expanded existing programs and created new ones in Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act that offer financial assistance for nursing education and training in order to encourage men and women to enter the nursing field. Senator Mikulski has been a consistent advocate for nursing throughout her 30 years in Congress, and has worked to increase scholarships and access to programs to address the nation’s growing shortage.
The National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) was organized in 1971 under the leadership of Dr. Lauranne Sams, former Dean and Professor of Nursing, School of Nursing, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama. NBNA is a non-profit organization incorporated on September 2, 1972. NBNA represents 150,000 African American registered nurses, licensed vocational/practical nurses, nursing students and retired nurses from the USA, Eastern Caribbean and Africa, with 90 chartered chapters, in 35 states. Their mission is “to represent and provide a forum for Black nurses to advocate and implement strategies to ensure access to the highest quality of healthcare for persons of color.”