Lawmakers reintroduce Stop Nurse Shortages Act

Two U.S. lawmakers on May 9 reintroduced a bill that would create a federal grant program for nursing schools to stand up or expand accelerated degree programs geared toward individuals with an undergraduate degree in another field. 

The legislation would authorize $10 million per year in grants for nursing schools to create, expand or support accelerated nursing degree programs. The bill would allow schools to use the funding to hire and retain nurse faculty, expand the number of clinical training sites and offer financial support to students. It was introduced by Michigan Rep. Haley Stevens and Ohio Rep. Dave Joyce. 

They first introduced the bill in 2022. 

"Accelerated programs are a fantastic opportunity for students who already have a degree in a non-nursing field to enter into the nursing profession completing either a bachelor's or master's degree in nursing," Jennifer Mensik Kennedy, PhD, RN, president of the American Nurses Association, said in a news release from Ms. Stevens' office. "The ANA strongly supports this effort to provide greater funding to faculty, student financial assistance and overall building a well-prepared nursing workforce to meet healthcare's future needs."

In recent years, nursing programs have turned away thousands of qualified applicants, primarily due to a lack of clinical placement sites and faculty shortages, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The AACN supports the bill, as do the Michigan Health and Hospital Association, the National League for Nursing, the American Association for Nurse Anesthesiology, the American Organization for Nursing Leadership and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. 

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