Federal legislation could close pay gap for nursing faculty

Two U.S. senators have introduced a bill that would address the pay gap between clinical and faculty nursing positions in order to reduce the nursing shortage.

The Nurse Faculty Shortage Reduction Act would provide a federal wage differential for the salary gap in order to fill needed nurse faculty positions nationwide, according to a Sept. 19 press release from Sen. Lisa Murkowski. The "greatest bottleneck" in nursing school capacity is due to enrollment constraints. About 92,000 applicants were rejected from BSN programs due to lack of nurse faculty, according to the release.

The legislation would require nursing schools seeking supplemental federal funding to submit the school's average faculty and clinical salaries at their facilities. Money will be granted in the amount of difference between those two averages in order to restore the nurse to their prior salary on the condition that the school maintains that salary.

The bill authorized $28.5 million a year for five years as a pilot program. It will operate alongside the existing nurse faculty loan repayment program.

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