Local Representatives: New Law Will Help Fix Nursing Shortage

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Local Representatives: New Law Will Help Fix Nursing Shortage

May 2022

STATEHOUSE (May 10, 2022) – National Nurses Week is May 6-12, and local legislators 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 will boost the health care workforce pipeline by providing flexibility to Indiana’s nurses seeking licensure. State Rep. Cindy Ledbetter (R-Newburgh) 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.

“Nurses work long hours taking care of Hoosiers,” Ledbetter said. “They are saving lives and helping patients in their most vulnerable moments, and they deserve our support. This new law will not only help current nursing students and educators, but it will also encourage talented individuals to join this respected and rewarding profession.”

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.

“Indiana needs more nurses – a lot of them – and this much-needed legislation will help close that gap and expand our labor pool,” said State Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville). “We can keep our standards high while also helping expedite the training process.”

State Rep. Tim O’Brien (R-Evansville) 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.

“Even before the pandemic, the nursing shortage was an issue across the country,” O’Brien said. “The spread of COVID-19 exacerbated this problem and I’m looking forward to seeing this new law give a needed boost to our talent pipeline.”

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.

“By cutting down unnecessary government red tape while maintaining necessary training standards, we can help ease the workload for Hoosier nurses who are stretched thin and working extra hours,” said State Rep. Matt Hostettler (R-Patoka)

FOOTNOTE: State Rep. Matt Hostettler (R-Patoka) represents House District 64,which includes Gibson County and portions of Knox, Pike, Vanderburgh, and Posey counties.  State Rep. Cindy Ledbetter (R-Newburgh) represents House District 75, which includes portions of Pike, Spencer, and Warrick counties.  State Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) represents House District 76, which includes portions of Posey and Vanderburgh counties.   State Rep. Tim O’Brien (R-Evansville) represents House District 78, which includes portions of Vanderburgh and Warrick counties.