STATEHOUSE – National Nurses Week is May 6-12, and State Rep. Craig Snow (R-Warsaw) supported a new law to help Indiana's health care heroes and alleviate the nursing shortage. 

With 4,300 nursing job openings statewide, the new law supported by Snow will boost the health care workforce pipeline by providing flexibility to Indiana's nurses seeking licensure, according to a news release provided. He said in addition to current job openings, the state will need 5,000 additional nurses by 2031, and nursing programs need to increase their graduating classes by 1,350 each year to meet this need. The new law offers flexibility to nursing programs and nurse educators to help meet workforce needs, and help nursing students working to obtain the required hours to be licensed.

"Hoosier nurses work in high-pressure environments every single day and we know they're also feeling the strain of the nursing staff shortage," Snow said. "This new law helps benefit our state by providing more flexibility to nursing programs so they can get more nurses in 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. Snow 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.

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.

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