U.S. Sen. Todd Young introduced legislation Thursday that would expand a federal program that rewards nurses who work in underserved areas.
Young, R-Ind., and Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., introduced the Nursing Where it's Needed (Nursing WIN) Act, which would amend the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program so that for-profit medical providers can participate.
Currently, the program is limited to public and nonprofit providers. The program pays 60% of unpaid nursing education debt for registered nurses and advanced registered nurses who work two years at medical facilities suffering critical shortages of nurses.
Young and Jones said in a news release that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 1.1 million nurses are needed to avoid further nursing shortages.
“In the coming years, our nation will face a critical nursing shortage as baby boomers age into retirement and require more health care services,” Young said in a statement. “Shortages are already being felt in our underserved rural and urban areas who are in dire need of caregivers. We must address this lack of qualified professionals now by incentivizing nurses to practice in the communities where they are needed most.”
Young and Jones said their legislation is supported by the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals.