the U.S. Congress on policy issues related to the nursing programs administered by HRSA’s Bureau of Health Professions Division of Nursing, including nurse workforce supply, education, and practice improvement. Among its reports are the following: Basic Registered Nurse Workforce, National Informatics Agenda for Nursing Education and Practice, Collaborative Education to Ensure Patient Safety, A National Agenda for Nursing Workforce Racial/Ethnic Diversity, Federal Support for the Preparation of the Nurse Practitioner Workforce through Title VIII, and Federal Support for the Preparation of the Clinical Nurse Specialist Workforce through Title VIII.

The efforts of COGME and NACNEP have resulted in a number of accomplishments in workforce development. With respect to furthering interdisciplinary education and practice, for example, the two worked together to produce the report Collaborative Education to Ensure Patient Safety (COGME and NACNEP, 2000), which makes recommendations pertaining to faculty development, quality improvement, interdisciplinary collaboration, and competency development. These recommendations fostered cooperative agreements with public and private nonprofit entities that were cosponsored by HRSA’s nursing and medicine divisions (NACNEP, 2002).

Recommendations

To secure sustained attention and resources for the development of the M/SU treatment workforce similar to what has been accomplished for the physician and nurse workforces, the committee makes the following recommendations:

Recommendation 7-1. To ensure sustained attention to the development of a stronger M/SU health care workforce, Congress should authorize and appropriate funds to create and maintain a Council on the Mental and Substance-Use Health Care Workforce as a public–private partnership. Recognizing that the quality of M/SU services is dependent upon a highly competent professional workforce, the council should develop and implement a comprehensive plan for strengthening the quality and capacity of the workforce to improve the quality of M/SU services substantially by:

  • Identifying the specific clinical competencies that all M/SU professionals must possess to be licensed or certified and the competencies that must be maintained over time.

  • Developing national standards for the credentialing and licensure of M/SU providers to eliminate differences in the standards now



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