The unprecedented demands that the pandemic placed on the nation’s nurses – combined with retirements and an aging workforce – have greatly increased the need for nursing workers in the U.S.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that more than 275,000 additional nurses are needed from 2020 to 2030, and that employment opportunities for nurses will grow at 9 percent, faster than all other occupations from 2016 through 2026.
To help address challenges to developing a skilled healthcare workforce, the U.S. Department of Labor today announced an $80 million funding opportunity through its Nursing Expansion Grant Program to support nursing training programs designed to expand the pipeline of nursing professionals while advancing equity and creating pathways for workers to fill these jobs and improve the nation’s healthcare system.
“Many healthcare workers, nurses among them, have worked around the clock throughout the pandemic to care for those in need and save countless lives, often while risking their own health and well-being,” said Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “Today, they face diminished ranks of colleagues to help shoulder these burdens as patients continue to depend on them. The funding opportunity announced today will support training and other programs to help advance workforce equity while bringing more nurses into the industry.”
Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, these H-1B Skills Training Grants emphasize training people from historically marginalized and underrepresented populations to bring greater employment equity in underserved communities and improve healthcare workforce diversity. These grants also emphasize using research and evidenced-based practices, supportive services, sector strategies, and training that address barriers to becoming nurses.
Driven by partnerships between public and private sector entities, these grants will support organizations that use worker-centered industry strategies to train nursing instructors or create nursing professional career pathway programs. Applicants must propose training program models that attract workers, unions, worker organizations and employers while building partnerships with community-based organizations and training institutions.
These grants align with the department’s Good Jobs Initiative and the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to support an equitable expansion and diversification of the U.S. healthcare workforce by improving job quality, skills training and employment support services.