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Bill to tackle nursing workforce hurdles – including licensing, instructors – nears governor's desk

The Indiana Statehouse in early winter.
Lauren Chapman
/
IPB News
Lawmakers said the healthcare workforce is still recovering from the pandemic, and HB 1259 will address barriers within the industry.

Indiana has a nursing shortage, but nursing schools say they don’t have enough faculty to educate the amount of students the state needs. The Senate passed a bill that simplifies nursing instructor requirements and eliminates a barrier for nurses from other countries to work in Indiana.

Lawmakers said the health care workforce is still recovering from the pandemic, and HB 1259 will address barriers within the industry.

The bill would eliminate the 18-month clinical experience requirement for instructors, meaning they would only need a nursing license in order to train students. The author of the bill said institutions are “best equipped” to judge who has the experience to educate nursing students.

READ MORE: Indiana lawmakers want to streamline licensing requirements during nursing shortage

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The measure also allows the Indiana State Nursing Board to issue licenses to registered nurses from other countries by examination, not just endorsement. Nursing associations say the state’s current process creates barriers for licensing qualified nurses from other countries.

The bill now goes back to the House, which can send it on to the governor or take it to a conference committee for further work.

Abigail is our health reporter. Contact them at aruhman@wboi.org.

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Abigail Ruhman covers statewide health issues. Previously, they were a reporter for KBIA, the public radio station in Columbia, Missouri. Ruhman graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.