Alec Stone
Alec Stone MA, MPA, ONS Public Affairs Director

In an increasingly rare show of bipartisan common ground, U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Doug Jones (D-AL) introduced the Nursing Where It’s Needed (Nursing WIN) Act in April 2019. The bill would assist nurses in underserved areas of the country—particularly rural communities—that are facing nursing staff shortages.

With the opportunity to benefit from the Health Resource and Service Administration’s NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program, the Nursing WIN Act would help nurses practicing in underserved areas not only fill staffing needs at institutions but also access potential loan reimbursement for their education costs. With more qualified providers available in underserved areas, institutions will be able to address the ever-increasing demand for highly trained nurses in disparate geographic areas. The act would also allow certain facilities to take advantage of specific tax statuses to enhance their workforce.

In a joint press release, the senators expressed support for their respective communities by highlighting the national shortage in the nursing workforce.

“In the coming years, our nation will face a critical nursing shortage as baby boomers age into retirement and require more healthcare services,” Young said.

Adding to his colleague’s concern, Jones noted Alabama’s growing nursing shortage in rural areas. Jones also mentioned expert projections showing that the nursing shortage will only get worse in the coming years.  

Citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the senators pointed out that 1.1 million additional nurses will be needed as the aging population looks to retirement. ONS works closely with policymakers, nurse advocates, and elected officials to address the workforce issues in the nursing profession. Consider joining your voice, experience, and expertise to ONS’s advocacy efforts.