Federal bill would address nursing shortage

A bill has been filed that would address the U.S. nursing shortage through a series of grants, financial assistance and incentives. The bill was introduced by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) after it failed to pass in 2007.

Among its key functions is that the bill would provide grants to nursing schools to help them increase enrollment in their doctoral programs--a sore spot in the nursing world right now since a lack of PhDs means a lack of faculty to teach new nurses.

The act would also offer financial assistance and incentives to nurses and nurse practitioners who work in rural parts of the country; create a special U.S. Public Health Sciences track at some colleges and universities to train healthcare workers; and help rural hospitals establish community-based training for healthcare workers in areas with too few professionals.

Particularly given the industry focus on reform, it's unlikely there will be any organized resistance to this bill this time around, so it's likely to pass, Bingaman's staff predicts.

To learn more about the bill:
- read this HealthcareFinanceNews piece

Related Articles:
Hospitals attempting to curb nursing shortages
Nurse shortage expected to extend over next seven years
Trend: Hospitals lure nurses with better working conditions