Current Activity June 9, 2023 – Great News

The Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee took up the budget item on continued funding of the Nurse Educator Loan Forgiveness Program.

The Committee decided to not increase the funding but maintained the current funding at $10 million for this fiscal year. The Committee recommendations as part of the budget will need to be approved by both houses and signed by the Governor.

For more information about the Nurse Educator Loan Forgiveness program please go to:

What you need to know about Wisconsin’s Nurse Faculty Shortage

Registered nurses and licensed practical nurses comprise the largest group of Wisconsin’s health care professional workforce. According to the report released by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, the demand for registered nurses is projected to continue growing through at least 2040.

Reason for the Demand

  • By 2032 the population over 75 years old will grow by 75%; the population under 18 will grow by only 3.5%.
  • Wisconsin’s population older than 65 will double by 2030 and it is expected that the demand for health care services will increase by 30%.
  • The average age of RNs in 2020 was 46.2 years, with approximately one third being 55 years and older. Thirty-eight percent of nurses indicated that they plan to stop providing direct patient care in 9 years or less. Data is pending to see if COVID impacted the decision of those RNs to leave the bedside earlier.
  • The anticipated and unanticipated exit of nurses leaving the bedside is creating a greater need for more nursing graduates. The status of the supply of nursing faculty in 2020 depicts a mean age as 50.9 years. In addition, 32.6 percent indicated that they will remain in a nurse educator position for 5 years or less. Further data indicates that 55 percent plan to leave their current nursing educator employment in 9 years or less.

What this means: Wisconsin will not have the RNs needed to meet health care demands. To meet the demand for RNs, Wisconsin needs to increase the supply of nurse educators.

The bowtie image above depicts how the demands for RNs and the supply of individuals wanting to become a nurse is impacted by the lack of nurse faculty.

Challenges to retaining nurse educators

  • Compensation for a nurse educator position. (Wisconsin data shows that nurse educators with a master’s degree in nursing earn twenty-five percent less than master’s prepared nurse practitioners.)
  • Managing the teaching loads and role expectations go beyond the classroom. It encompasses, skills labs and simulation, in-person clinicals at health care facilities, as well as scholarship, service, and maintaining practice and teaching competencies that support a well-educated nurse.

Barriers to recruiting RNs to become nurse educators

  • Cost of tuition and fees to obtain a graduate or post-graduate nursing degree.
  • Family demands of both children and parents and other personal demands.
  • Lost work time and benefits to complete a degree.

Solution: Continue allocation of state budget dollars to financially support the individual nurse to obtain a graduate degree in nursing which will allow the nurse to teach in two year and four-year nursing programs in Wisconsin.


The 2021-2023 Wisconsin’s state budget allocated $5 million to support nurses to complete a graduate level nursing degree for individuals wanting to be a nurse educator. The State of Wisconsin Higher Education and Aids Board (HEAB) is the agency responsible for the Nursing Education Loan Program. The program offers a 100 percent forgivable loan providing the recipient works three years as a nurse educator in any of Wisconsin’s nursing schools. Loan amounts range from $30,000 to $50,000. The program was launched August 2022.  This will support the addition of 130 new nurse educators. The response thus far has resulted in 42 awardees of a possible 130 and 19% of the funds committed as of September 27th.

Request for 2023-2025 state budget

ANEW and WNA are requesting the allocation of $10 million, ($5 million per year) in the 2023-2025 State Budget to fund PhD, DNP, master’s in nursing as a nurse educator,. These budgeted dollars will support increasing the nurse educator workforce by an additional 250. These additional educators will help replace vacant positions and begin to expand the number of nursing faculty. This is important to expanding the number of nursing programs and increase the number of graduates needed to address the nurse workforce shortage.

Click here for an infographic that can be used to provide a quick overview of the budget ask and the rationale.

Current activity as of March 30, 2023

1.      Requested the Governor to earmark $10 million into the state budget to continue this initiative.

2.      In Governor Evers January 26, 2023 State of the State address he shared that he indicted that he has  as allocated $10 million in the state budget to grow the nursing education faculty.

3.      WNA issued a press release thanking the Governor for his inclusion.

4.      WNA lobbyists are meeting with legislative members of the Joint Finance Committee to discuss.

5.       Participants that attended Wednesday March 8, 2023 WNA Nurses Day at the Capitol met with their legislators to explain the nurse faculty shortage and requested to continue to fund the nurse faculty loan forgiveness program. 

Background on the development of the state budget.

The allocation of dollars in the state budget utilizes a process that is different from the usual legislative process.  It begins with the Governor’s Executive Budget which outlines the revenue and expenses using specific categories or programs. This budget is introduced in February of the odd number year. The budget  proposal is referred to the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC).  This Committee consists of eight senators and eight representatives. The budget bill and all other bills are reviewed to determine the fiscal impact on state revenues, expenses, or taxes. For the state budget, the Joint Finance Committee works with a non-partisan legislative agency called the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. The “Bureau” reviews and submits an analysis of all submitted income and expense dollars.

The Joint Finance Committee holds  public hearings throughout the state to obtain public feedback on the budget proposals. Comments are recorded along with any comments that are submitted via email, phone, or written letter.  With the completion of the hearings JFC reviews all of the submitted documents and begin to make recommendations that will eventually go to the full legislature for a vote,

The budget bill needs to be passed by both houses and contain identical wording. The Governor receives the budget and has the power to make partial veto’s on the allocation amounts or policy. Once the budget bill has been signed by the Governor the plan for implementation lies with the Governor.

WNA will be developing talking points that you can use for the upcoming Joint Finance Committee Public Hearings scheduled for April 2023

2023-25 Joint Finance Committee

Representative Born (Co-Chair)Senator FelzkowskiRepresentative Zimmerman
Senator Marklein (Co-Chair)Senator BallwegRepresentative Rodriguez
Representative Katsma (Vice-Chair)Senator TestinRepresentative Kurtz
Senator Stroebel (Vice-Chair)Senator WimbergerRepresentative Dallman
Senator L. JohnsonRepresentative Goyke
Senator RoysRepresentative McGuire

You can find more information about the individual committee members by going to:

All public hearings will be streamed by WisconsinEye and can be viewed at

Wednesday, April 5, 2023 (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) *

Waukesha County Expo Center, Main Arena 

1000 Northview Road 

Waukesha, WI 53188 


Tuesday, April 11, 2023 (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

UW-Eau Claire, Davies Student Center Ojibwe Grand Ballroom (Third Floor) 

77 Roosevelt Avenue 

Eau Claire, WI 54701

Public parking available at: Human Sciences & Services Parking Lot (F and S parking spaces) Haas Fine Arts Parking Lot (AMP parking spaces) 201 Water Street Eau Claire, WI 54703 (Shuttle to Davies Center available) 


Wednesday, April 12, 2023 (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) *

Wilderness Resort, Glacier Canyon Conference Center Sandstone Meeting Room 

45 Hillman Road Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965 


Wednesday, April 26, 2023 (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) *

Lakeland Union High School (Theatre)

9573 State Highway 70 

Minocqua, WI 54548

*The Committee will conclude taking testimony at the time specified. 


Written comments can be emailed to the Committee at  or  or sent via U.S. mail to: Joe Malkasian, Room 305 East, State Capitol, Madison, WI 53702.

Individuals needing assistance, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, should contact Becky Hannah, Legislative Fiscal Bureau, One East Main Street, Suite 301, Madison, WI 53703 (608) 266-3847 • Fax (608) 267-6873 • Email: Howard Marklein Senate Chair Mark


Current activity as of January 30, 2023

  1. Requested the Governor to earmark $10 million into the state budget to continue this initiative.
  2. In Governor Evers January 26, 2023 State of the State address he shared that he as allocated $10 million in the state budget.
  3. WNA issued a press release thanking the Governor for his inclusion.
  4. WNA lobbyists are meeting with legislative members of the Joint Finance Committee to discuss.
  5. Participants that attend the Wednesday March 8, 2023 Nurses Day at the Capitol will meet with their legistorlators.

You can read the history related to WNA’s lobbying and advocacy activities by clicking here