Young introduces bill to boost rural nursing program

U.S. Sen. Todd Young is co-sponsoring legislation that would expand a federal program that rewards nurses who work in underserved areas.

The Indiana Republican and Democratic Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama introduced legislation Thursday that would allow for-profit medical providers to participate in the program.

The program is currently limited to public and not-for-profit providers, the Journal Gazette reported. It pays 60% of unpaid nursing education debt for registered nurses and advanced registered nurses who work two years at medical facilities suffering critical shortages of nurses.

Young and Jones said the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 1.1 million nurses are needed nationwide as baby boomers age into retirement.

Young said nursing shortages are already being felt in underserved rural and urban areas that are "in dire need of caregivers."

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