Kentucky nurses ask state to invest in nursing students

The Team Kentucky Nursing Advisory Committee said nurses are leaving in droves to take travel...
The Team Kentucky Nursing Advisory Committee said nurses are leaving in droves to take travel nursing jobs where they make a lot more money.(Source: WKYT)
Published: Jan. 31, 2022 at 9:56 PM CST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A group of Kentucky nurses are working together to retain and recruit more nurses to the state.

That’s as many kentucky hospitals are facing an overwhelming number of patients.

We heard a strong warning from Governor Andy Beshear during his Monday briefing.

He said ‘We are close to our highest level of hospitalizations due to covid that we have had.’

That statement would be alarming enough, but that’s not the only problem hospitals are facing right now.

The Team Kentucky Nursing Advisory Committee said nurses are leaving in droves to take travel nursing jobs where they make a lot more money.

This committee is made up of nurses, some practicing, some now directors of university programs.

They’ve been gathering virtually to think of ways the state can better recruit and retain nurses.

As Delanor Manson with the Kentucky Nurses Association said, the pandemic didn’t cause the nursing shortage, it just exacerbated it.

A few big take aways from their meeting Monday: they’re asking the state for more scholarships and loan forgiveness for nursing students.

The Governor announced earlier this month that his healthcare budget plan includes $6 million a year for scholarships.

Manson also said nurses need to know they are value, requesting more and larger retention bonuses, before they take higher paying jobs out of state.

“If we do not retain the nurses that we have, we are going to have a bigger shortage. One of the things we need to do is start by thanking and appreciating the people who stayed. Those who didn’t take those travel assignments and leave and make a whole lot of money. And we need to do that immediately. That is not something we can wait on.”

The association will have one more meeting in February. Then they’ll present their list of recommendations to the Governor’s Office in March.

The association is also urging lawmakers to pass SB 78.

The bill removes a CAPA-CS requirement for Advanced Practitioner Registered Nurses, which would make it easier for them to prescribe controlled substances without having to become recertified.

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