April 24, 2023

CNA Training, Health Care Workforce at Hearing

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce examined eight bipartisan bills aimed at addressing federal government programs that support the health care work force and improve primary care in a “Examining Existing Federal Programs to Build a Stronger Health Workforce and Improve Primary Care” hearing, April 19. Carole Johnson, Administrator of Health Resources and Services Administration, testified about the agency’s health workforce and primary care programs, several of which will have to be reauthorized by the end of the year.

The hearing addressed the “National Nursing Workforce Center Act of 2023 (H.R. 2411),” a new bill sponsored by Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) that would support and stabilize the existing nursing workforce and establish programs to increase the number of nurses. As Health Subcommittee Chair Brett Guthrie’s (R-KY) opening statement highlighted, “the bill is designed to help bolster our nursing workforce and would specifically require HRSA to work with state nursing workforce centers to help streamline their nursing workforce program.”  

Chair Guthrie’s opening statement also highlighted a LeadingAge-supported proposal, the “Building America’s Healthcare Workforce Act,” which is sponsored by the Chair Guthrie. The bill would temporarily extend flexibilities created during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency that allow temporary nurse aides to put their on-the-job training in nursing homes toward ultimately becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant. The bill would address very serious nursing workforce shortages in the long-term care community,” Chair Guthrie said and he vowed to continue to push to advance similar legislation that cuts red tape, especially as we near the expiration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency on May 11.