House Committee to consider ‘Nursing Indiana Back to Health’ proposal to address Hoosier workforce shortages

The Indiana House Public Health Committee will tomorrow consider House Bill (HB) 1003, a House Republican legislative agenda bill termed “Nursing Indiana Back to Health.” The bill, authored by Rep. Ethan Manning (R-Denver), would address Indiana’s health care workforce shortage and support Hoosier nurses if passed this session by the Indiana General Assembly. The legislation will be heard in committee tomorrow, Jan. 12 at 8:30 a.m. in Statehouse Room 404.

“The gap between supply and demand for nurses has long been growing, but the length and stress of the pandemic has exacerbated the issue,” said Brian Tabor, president of the Indiana Hospital Association. “The ‘Nursing Indiana Back to Health’ legislation is a crucial step forward in narrowing that gap and ensuring that Hoosier patients will have the nurses they need to care for them for years to come. Indiana hospitals greatly appreciate the General Assembly’s recognition of the importance of our workforce challenges and their willingness to take up this legislation to empower nursing educators in Indiana.”

The demand for registered nurses (RNs) in Indiana is projected to grow 12% from 2018 to 2028, a far greater rate than the average for all occupations. That translates to 4,750 new job openings, without enough nurses to fill those positions.

“Nursing Indiana Back to Health” provides flexibilities and removes unnecessary regulations for nursing schools in Indiana, allowing additional students to enter the nursing workforce pipeline.

“Ivy Tech Community College was created to be responsive to workforce needs,” said Dr. Sue Ellspermann, president of Ivy Tech Community College. “The ‘Nursing Indiana Back to Health’ legislation will enable the College to expand its nursing programs by 600 students annually by 2025, helping close the gap on the nursing shortage. We appreciate the legislature’s willingness to remove barriers that will allow the College the flexibility to address urgent workforce needs.”

The Indiana Hospital Association and Ivy Tech Community College will testify in support of the bill in committee.