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In response to the national nursing shortage, the federal Nurse Reinvestment Act of 2002 was signed into law in August 2002. The Act amends Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act and authorizes new programs to increase the number of qualified nurses and the quality of nursing services in the U.S. Funding to implement the new programs was appropriated by Congress in February 2003.
The federal Nurse Reinvestment Act provides authority for scholarships and loan repayments for nursing students, and public service announcements to promote nursing careers. The Senate bill also contains authority for stipends and other supports for nursing students, grants to promote the Magnet criteria for best practices for nursing administration, funding for faculty development, career ladder programs, and funding for residencies for nursing specialties.