SOURCE: Emergency Nurses Association (ENA)

Emergency Nurses Association (ENA)

December 17, 2014 12:32 ET

Emergency Nurses Association Applauds Passage of Appropriations Bill Containing Ebola and Emergency Care Funding

DES PLAINES, IL--(Marketwired - December 17, 2014) - The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) applauds Congress for approving, and President Obama for signing into law, an omnibus spending bill that contains important measures to combat the Ebola outbreak and support programs to improve our nation's emergency care capabilities.

The fiscal year 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill was signed into law by President Obama last night following approval on December 11 by the House of Representatives and December 13 by the Senate.

In addition to funding the federal government until September 30, 2015, the legislation provides $5.4 billion in emergency funding to address the domestic and international Ebola crisis. The extra resources are targeted for the development of vaccines and other treatments, to train hospital personnel who are potentially exposed to Ebola in the workplace, to create isolation units on a regional basis, to reimburse hospitals for expensive Ebola-related care and to send CDC personnel overseas to help prevent the spread of the disease.

"I commend Congress and the President for making extra resources available in the fight against the spread of Ebola," said ENA President Deena Brecher, MSN, RN, APN, ACNS-BC, CEN, CPEN. "I am especially pleased that the bill helps ensure that our emergency care infrastructure and frontline hospitals have the resources to meet a variety of public health emergencies, including infectious diseases."

The fiscal year 2015 omnibus spending package also includes funding for ongoing programs critical to emergency nursing, including:

  • Nursing Workforce Development programs, which received $232.6 million, $7.8 million more than the 2014 level. More than 80,000 nurses and nursing students utilize these programs each year. The Nurse Faculty Loan Program, which in 2012 supported the education of 2,259 future nurses, saw a robust 8 percent increase.
  • The Emergency Medical Services for Children program will receive $20.2 million in 2015 to ensure that state-of-art emergency medical care is available for injured and ill children.
  • The National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) will both see increased funding. Projects funded through NINR are aimed at reducing chronic illness, improving quality of life and promoting patient-centered care.
  • The Rural and Community Access to Emergency Devices program, which assists local emergency response entities to purchase automatic external defibrillators, will receive $4.5 million, a 34 percent increase from last year's level.
  • Poison control centers will be allocated $18.8 million. Each year the nation's 55 poison centers handle 3.6 million calls, including 720,000 from nurses and doctors who rely on the centers for immediate assessments.

"These programs are essential to providing the best possible patient care in emergency departments. I especially want to highlight provisions in the bill that will enhance education and training opportunities for tens of thousands of nurses and nursing students," Brecher said.

About the Emergency Nurses Association
The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) is the premier professional nursing association dedicated to defining the future of emergency nursing through advocacy, education, research, innovation, and leadership. Founded in 1970, ENA has proven to be an indispensable resource to the global emergency nursing community. With more than 40,000 members worldwide, ENA advocates for patient safety, develops industry-leading practice standards and guidelines, and guides emergency healthcare public policy. ENA members have expertise in triage, patient care, disaster preparedness, and all aspects of emergency care. Additional information is available at www.ena.org.

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Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Marie Grimaldi
    Communications & PR Manager
    ENA
    847.460.4080
    mgrimaldi@ena.org