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Monday, May 20th 2002

The Honorable Carolyn McCarthy
U.S. House of Representatives
1224 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Mary Bono
U.S. House of Representatives
404 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Rep. McCarthy:

Dear Rep. Bono:

On behalf of the American Hospital Association, I would like to express our support for H.R. 4654, the Nurse Retention and Quality Care Act of 2002. We believe your bill is an important component in the overall strategy of addressing the national nursing shortage.

While the nation's health care workforce is experiencing a shortage of many types of personnel, none is more critical than the nurses who provide bedside care. And while previous shortages were largely a result of fluctuations in the economy, current supplies of nurses and others are shrinking for reasons that will be with us during the long term: an aging workforce and a lack of nursing school students being trained to replace those who retire. Meanwhile, demand for medical care is expected to increase substantially as the baby boom generation ages.

The development of both short- and long-term solutions to this shortage will require a multi-tiered, collaborative approach among all affected parties. Your legislation, by creating grants to develop models and best practices of nursing care, is an excellent step towards addressing hospitals' workforce problems.

We applaud your leadership on this important issue and support swift enactment of this legislation.


Rick Pollack
Executive Vice President


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