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Sen. Young Introduces Legislation To Attract Nurses Where Need Is Critical

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A school nurse uses telemedicine equipment to examine a student. (Brock Turner, WTIU/WFIU News)

Senator Todd Young (R-IN) authored a bill he hopes will help attract nurses to underserved areas of the country. 

Cosponsored by Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), the proposal would offer nurses incentives in the form of loan repayment and scholarships if they work for a hospital that’s in critical need of their skills. In Indiana, many of those facilities are in rural areas.

Deena Dodd is the Network Development Officer for Indiana’s Rural Health Association. 

She says nearly all of Indiana’s 35 critical access hospitals will have a need for more nurses.

“If they don’t fall into this [critical] category right now, in the next couple of years, they will definitely fall into those categories,” she says. “We’re well aware, baby boomers have been aging out of the workforce.”

The Nursing WIN Act would expand incentives to privately-owned hospitals and health systems.  Currently, if a system is acquired by a private entity, those taking advantage of the program have to move to a different facility.

As more baby boomers retire, Dodd notes there are fewer young people interested in filling those roles—especially in rural areas.

The bill has been assigned to a Senate committee.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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