HARRISBURG – Crawford County Sen. Michele Brooks plans to introduce legislation that will help address the nurse workforce shortage in PA. A co-sponsorship memo from Brooks highlights numerous studies documenting the rapid decline in nurses entering the workforce, coupled with a large increase in those exiting their careers, many due to burnout and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is estimated that the health care sector has lost nearly half a million workers since February 2020 and predicts that more than 20% of the remaining nurse workforce may leave their positions in 2022. The legislation would allocate funds for accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Programs for students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree in another field and want to pursue a BSN degree. It would allow students to complete the BSN program in an accelerated fashion while still ensuring that they have all of the necessary clinical training and coursework, to ultimately result in more nurses joining the workforce more quickly. The measure would also help replenish a decline in faculty positions in nursing schools in order to prepare more nurses for the future.

SEN. MICHELE BROOKS