(Lincoln, NE) -- Four bills are introduced in the Nebraska Unicameral to address hospital workforce shortages across the state.
Nebraska Hospital Association President Jeremy Nordquist said, “The time to invest in our health care workforce is now, and the federal American Rescue Plan Act funding gives us the opportunity to make key investments in our future health care heroes. As we look to the future, we are at a critical tipping point when it comes to our health care workforce. Inaction will only lead to a decade or more of chronic understaffing in health care in Nebraska.”
The NHA lays out the bills introduced and their objectives:
Senator Mike McDonnell (District 5, Omaha) introduced the Front Line Nurse Premium Pay bill. This bill will ask the state to appropriate $50 million from the American Rescue Plan Act. It will allow for hospitals and federal qualified health centers to award premium pay bonuses to nurses who have been on the front lines during the pandemic.
Senator Patty Pansing-Brooks (District 28, Lincoln) introduced a bill that appropriates $5 million from the American Rescue Plan Act to create new full-time positions that will oversee the seven Career and Technical Education Programs within the Nebraska Department of Education.
Senator Robert Hilkemann (District 4, Omaha) introduced the Care Team Innovation Grant bill. This bill will ask the state to appropriate $2 million from the American Rescue Plan Act. It will allow Nebraska DHHS to establish a competitive application process for grants for hospitals to explore new and innovative ways of health care delivery.
Senator Myron Dorn (District 30, Gage County) (not available for the conference) will soon be introducing the Nebraska Nursing Incentive Act bill. This bill will ask the state to appropriate $5 million from the American Rescue Plan Act. It will allow for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to administer scholarships to public or private postsecondary institutions for approved nursing programs.