Texas looks to retain rural nurses with $15K stipends

Texas hospitals are bracing for a projected shortage of around 12,572 nurses by 2032. With an aim to close some of the anticipated gap, the state opened applications June 3 for its inaugural rural nurse retention initiative, which would fund $15,000 stipends for qualified nurses.

Eligible hospitals and health systems must be located in a rural Texas county with a population of 68,000 or less, employ nurses, provide direct patient care, and accept Medicare and Medicaid, according to the news release. This grant offer is also open to rural health clinics, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, as well as for public health departments that also meet the above requirements. 

"We’re at a critical point with health care in rural Texas…" Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said in the release. "We have to give money to these small communities to help them attract the level of care offered in big cities, and this is just the start."

As part of Texas' new Rural Nursing Recruitment & Retention Program, eligible rural health facilities award $15,000 in stipend assistance to nurses who agree to work at the location or who agree to continue working at a rural location full-time for at least 36 consecutive months.

Grant applications close June 27 at 11:59 p.m. CT.

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