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St. Joe County lawmakers aim to curb nursing shortage with new law

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 8:26 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - St. Joe County lawmakers are supporting a new law to help fix Indiana’s nursing shortage, House Bill 1003.

The new law supported by state representative Dale DeVon of Granger will boost the health care workforce pipeline by providing flexibility to those seeking a license.

Right now, there are more than 4300 nursing jobs open statewide.

In addition to current job openings, the state will need 5,000 additional nurses by 2031.

“Nurses are there for us and our families during some of the most vulnerable moments in our lives,” DeVon said. “This new law will address the nursing shortage in our state by providing much-needed flexibility for aspiring nurses who want to enter the field more quickly.”

With the new law already in effect, nursing programs will be able to increase enrollment at faster rates and accept more clinical simulation hours, all while maintaining high-quality training for all nursing students. State Rep. Jake Teshka (R-South Bend) said the new law offers nursing students and registered nurses more freedom to grow and join the workforce, which is especially important as pandemic-related protocols prolonged the process for many nursing students seeking licensure.

“Nurses continue to persevere in a demanding job while being stretched thin across the board,” Teshka said. “Our goal is to get more qualified professionals into this important line of work.”

Supporters of the law include hospital systems, nursing schools, long-term care facilities, the Indiana Nurses Association, Indiana Hospital Association and Indiana Health Care Association.

“This new law helps nursing students who want to start working as soon as possible,” said State Rep. Tim Wesco (R-Osceola). “We want to make sure Hoosiers don’t have any gaps in care by helping more qualified nurses enter the field.”

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