STATEHOUSE (May 10, 2022) –National Nurses Week is May 6-12, and Hendricks County lawmakers 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 State Reps. Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon), Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton) and Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) will boost the health care workforce pipeline by providing flexibility to Indiana’s nurses seeking licensure. Steuerwald 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.
“This law works to make sure there are trained nurses in Indiana who are ready to take care of Hoosiers and their loved ones now and in the future,” Steuerwald said. “From our schools to the local doctor’s office, we need nurses to provide ongoing care and help in our time of need.”
With the new law already in effect, Thompson said 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.
“With predictions of a prolonged nursing shortage, it’s imperative that the state makes the process for training and licensing new nurses as seamless as possible,” Thompson said. “We welcome more Hoosiers to take on this essential role in our health care system.”
Behning 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.
“The importance of nurses was made even more apparent in the past couple years due to the pandemic,” Behning said. “Streamlining our regulations will help ensure Indiana has a strong talent pipeline to better meet the state’s needs.”
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.