The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) Board of Directors endorsed the document “Americans for Nursing Shortage Relief” (ANSR) at a meeting this past fall.

ANSR’s goal is to encourage Congress to implement a comprehensive set of initiatives to ensure quality health care by increasing the nursing work force through training and education. The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) is coordinating this effort and 36 organizations are currently participating in support of ANSR, including the National Black Nurses Association and the National Alaskan Native American Indian Nurses Association.

The document includes initiatives specifically focusing on increasing the number of minority RNs. For example, it requests $10 million in fiscal year 2002 to enhance recruitment and retention of minority nurses in for-profit, non-profit, public and private health care facilities.

The NCSBN assists its 61 state and territorial member boards in promoting safe and effective nursing practices in the interest of protecting public health and welfare. NCSBN also develops licensure examinations for nursing.

“NCSBN believes that the current and future nurse shortage is a public health crisis and supports efforts to resolve the shortage without lowering safety standards,” says Kathy Apple, NCSBN executive director. “We feel this initiative contributes to protecting public health and welfare.”

The entire ANSR consensus document is available online at

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