Since the California Department of Health Care Services realized that none of their programs are going to work without adequate health care professionals they have targeted nearly half, $503,257,248, of the grant money into the training of their Health Workforce.
As of March 2014 California was home to more than 300,000 actively licensed registered nurses (RNs), making nursing the single largest health profession in the state. Over the past 15 years the number of RNs has steadily increased, although the RNs-per-capita ratio has remained significantly lower than the national average. California's average is 726 per 100K while the national average is 926 per 100K population. While an RNs average income in California is almost $90,000 in 2012 (although there are variations from region to region) it's obvious that the state is going to need many more RNs, in fact the nation will need many, many more.
That recognition is evidenced in TITLE V of the Affordable Care Act titled Health Care Workforce. Listed below are some of the grants available.
Sec. 5208. Nurse-managed health clinics. Strengthens the health care safety-net by creating a $50 million grant program administered by HRSA to support nurse-managed health clinics.
Sec. 5308. Advanced nursing education grants. Strengthens language for accredited Nurse Midwifery programs to receive advanced nurse education grants in Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act.
Sec. 5309. Nurse education, practice, and retention grants. Awards grants to nursing schools to strengthen nurse education and training programs and to improve nurse retention.
Sec. 5310. Loan repayment and scholarship program. Adds faculty at nursing schools as eligible individuals for loan repayment and scholarship programs.
Sec. 5311. Nurse faculty loan program. Establishes a Federally-funded student loan repayment program for nurses with outstanding debt who pursue careers in nurse education. Nurses agree to teach at an accredited school of nursing for at least 4 years within a 6-year period.
Sec. 5312. Authorization of appropriations for parts B through D of title VIII. Authorizes $338 million to fund Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act nursing programs.
Sec. 5313. Grants to promote the community health workforce. Authorizes the Secretary to award grants to States, public health departments, clinics, hospitals, Federally qualified health centers, and other nonprofits to promote positive health behaviors and outcomes in medically underserved areas through the use of community health workers. Community health workers offer interpretation and translation services, provide culturally appropriate health education and information, offer informal counseling and guidance on health behaviors, advocate for individual and community health needs, and can provide some direct primary care services and screenings.
Sec. 5509. Graduate nurse education demonstration program. This provision directs the Secretary to establish a demonstration program to increase graduate nurse education training under Medicare and authorizes $50 million to be appropriated from the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund for each of the fiscal years 2012 through 2015 for such purpose.
These grants have been a windfall for California students who are joining and switching to nursing programs all over the states. Since nurses cover the entire expanse of the health field they have all types of degrees and specialties. I am often at a loss to understand all the letters behind the modern nurses' names.
First, there are four nursing degrees. The 2-3 year Associate Degree given at junior colleges provides the majority of nurses. Then there are the Bachelor of Science, BSN, degrees which takes four years, the Master's program, MN, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice, DNP, as well as the Advanced Practice Registered Nurses APRN. All courses approved by the BRN, Board of Registered Nursing.