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HAP Expresses Support for Extending Graduate Nurse Education Pilot

December 04, 2017

Nurses continue to be at the forefront of the transformation of health care in Pennsylvania’s hospitals. Hospitals are working to cultivate the nursing community by encouraging specialty certifications, and developing career paths that leverage experience, education, and professional activity.

Continuing the hospital community’s support for these efforts, Andy Carter, HAP’s President and CEO, sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation endorsing the extension of the Medicare Graduate Nurse Education (GNE) Demonstration, an initiative that promotes clinical training of advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) through partnerships between hospitals, schools of nursing, and non-hospital, community-based training sites.

Launched during 2012 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the GNE demonstration has proven to serve as a cost-effective mechanism to boost the primary care workforce and meet critical health care needs.

An October 2017 Report to Congress by CMS concluded: “The GNE demonstration had a positive impact on APRN growth, and helped transform clinical education within participating GNE schools of nursing.”

The Greater Philadelphia Graduate Nurse Education Network was one of five competitively selected demonstration sites. Coordinated through the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), the partnership is comprised of nine universities, health systems, hospitals, and hundreds of community clinics and medical practices in Southeast Pennsylvania. As a result of the GNE demonstration, the Philadelphia network is producing close to 1,000 new APRNs each year, with clinical placements across the entire commonwealth.

A letter signed by HUP and the eight Pennsylvania university presidents participating in the Pennsylvania GNE demonstration cites that the findings of the GNE demonstration show that it is feasible and affordable for Medicare to pay hospitals to facilitate the expansion of clinical opportunities for APRNs. They point to the average cost to Medicare of training a new APRN at $30,000, as compared to the average cost of training a new primary care physician at $150,000 a year.

HAP urged federal lawmakers to provide a two-year extension—an $80 million investment for fiscal years 2018 and 2019—to build on the success of the GNE demonstration in Pennsylvania and the four other sites across the country in Arizona, Illinois, North Carolina, and Texas.

With continued federal support, the Pennsylvania GNE demonstration will scale-up clinical training sites in rural areas and promote employment in rural and underserved areas.

For more information about HAP’s federal advocacy efforts, contact Laura Stevens Kent, vice president, federal advocacy. For more information about nurse education and workforce issues, contact Mary Marshall, HAP’s director, workforce and professional development. 

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