STATEHOUSE – National Nurses Week is May 6-12, and State Rep. Chris May (R-Bedford) 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 May will boost the health care workforce pipeline by providing flexibility to Indiana’s nurses seeking licensure. 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.
“These health care workers are vital to effectively caring for Hoosier patients,” May said. “This new law will put the state on track to meet future needs as well as deal with the demand we have right now by providing more flexibility in training and licensing.”
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. May 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.
To learn more about HEA 1003, visit iga.in.gov.