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White House Office Hours: National Nurses Week

Have questions about how the Affordable Care Act invests in nurses? The Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration will be talking about the new programs that help train and support nurses.
Note: This live session of Office Hours has concluded. Check out the full question and answer session below or at

This is National Nurses Week, when we recognize the significant contributions that nurses make to keeping America healthy.  It’s also a time to celebrate the ways the new health care law, the Affordable Care Act, is helping invest in nurses.  Many of the new health initiatives in the law would not be possible without them. 

To talk about National Nurses Week and what the health law means for nurses, we’ll be hosting a session of Office Hours on Monday, May 7th at 3:30 pm EDT with Mary Wakefield, a Registered Nurse and Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, which runs many of the programs that help train and support nurses. Have questions about the new law and nurses? 

Here’s how White House Office Hours work:

  • Ask your questions now and during the live event on Twitter with the hashtag #WHChat
  • Follow the Q&A live through the @WHLive Twitter account
  • If you miss the live session, the full session will be posted on and

So, stop by for Office Hours at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 7th with Mary Wakefield and be sure to follow @WhiteHouse on twitter for the latest news and more opportunities to engage.

Obama and nurses

President Barack Obama greets doctors and nurses following his remarks about health care reform in the East Room of the White House. March 3, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

The new health care law strengthens prevention and wellness efforts around the country and expands investments in primary care programs in which nurses play a vital role:

  • Currently, 16,000 nurses work at community health centers providing primary and preventive care – including oral and behavioral health care – to about 20 million patients at more than 8,500 sites. Since the Obama Administration’s efforts to expand the health center program began in 2009, health centers have added about 3,000 nursing positions, including 800 in advanced practice.
  • The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) places primary care providers in underserved urban and rural areas for at least two years in exchange for scholarships and for paying down their student loans. The health care law allocated $1.5 billion over five years to grow the NHSC. The number of nurse practitioners in the NHSC has more than doubled to 1,750, since 2009.  New in 2012, the State Loan Repayment Program has expanded State-run programs to include registered nurses.
  • Since 2009, the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program budget has more than doubled.  Under this program, RNs and nurse practitioners who work for two years in a facility with a critical nursing shortage can get 60 percent of their school debt paid.
  • Under the Graduate Nurse Education Demonstration, a new Affordable Care Act initiative, CMS will provide up to $200 million over four years to cover the costs of clinical training for advanced practice registered nurses to hospitals working with nursing schools.

We’ll be discussing these topics and more. We hope you can join us!