Increasing Our Nursing Workforce

Increasing Our Nursing Workforce

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Indiana health care workers are very important to our communities across the state. Even before the pandemic, Indiana was facing a nursing shortage. In order to maintain our hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities, our state must annually graduate 4,300 nurses for the next few years.

Unfortunately, universities are currently reporting they are 1,350 nurses short of that goal each year.

In an effort to bolster Indiana's nursing workforce, the General Assembly passed House Enrolled Act 1003.

This legislation allows nursing programs that have an 80% passage rate and have been in operation for at least five years to increase their enrollment by any rate they deem appropriate. HEA 1003 also authorizes associate degree nursing programs to hire more adjunct instructors by removing the requirement that more than half of their faculty need to be full-time employees.

In addition, HEA 1003 includes language that will continue Indiana's policy of allowing temporary licensure for recent retirees and graduates to help increase our nursing workforce as we deal with these shortages.

Graduates of nursing programs in Indiana will still all have to pass the same exam, so even with the possible reduction in clinical hours and barriers to licensure, there will be a sufficient check and balance to ensure the graduates have the proper skills to enter the nursing profession.

Nurses play an invaluable role in our society, and it is important that we do all we can to support them.

To learn more about HEA 1003 and other legislation passed this session, click here.