Senators introduce legislation to tackle the nursing shortage in Nebraska

In the hope to tackle a major issue Nebraska has been facing for a while now, four senators are introducing new legislation aimed at solving the nursing shortage in the state.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – In the hope to tackle a major issue Nebraska has been facing for a while now, four senators are introducing new legislation aimed at solving the nursing shortage in the state.

“These nurses that are working right now on the front lines have seen more death and dying in three years than I’ve ever seen in my 30 year career,” Linda Stone with the Nebraska Board of Nurses, said.

Nurses like Stone are backing the legislation that would potentially rebuild the pipeline of nursing.

One of the bills, proposed by Senator Mike McDonnell, is requesting $50 million from the American Rescue Plan Act to offer nurses a bonus. He said money doesn’t solve all problems but it shows a sense of gratitude.

“Do I think it’s enough for the nurses? I don’t. I really don’t. But at the same time, I think it’s showing our willingness to recognize their sacrifice. What they continue on to do on a daily basis,” Sen. McDonnell said.

Additionally, there is a $2 million proposal that would encourage hospitals and others who come up with new innovative ways to deliver health care. There’s a $5 million plan that would offer scholarships for nursing students and a another $5 million proposal that would give money to the department of education to advance technical educational programs.

With the uncertainty of the pandemic and just how far this shortage could go, senators and nurses say now is the time to act.

“Inaction now will lead to a decade or more of chronic understaffing in our health care system in Nebraska,” Jeremy Nordquist the NHA President said.

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