Nursing Schools and Congressional Health-care Debate

Katherine Mangan, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, offers the following assessment of the implications for nursing schools in the health-care bills passed by the US House and Senate:

Faculty shortages. One of the biggest challenges in staving off a predicted shortage of nurses is finding enough nurses with advanced degrees willing to accept a pay cut to teach in the nation’s nursing schools. Faculty shortages have forced many nursing schools to turn away thousands of student applicants a year. Provisions in both bills would expand existing loan-repayment programs to include nurses who agree to teach in accredited nursing programs.

A separate provision in the Senate bill would forgive up to a total of $40,000 in graduate-school loans for nurses who receive master’s degrees and go into teaching, and $80,000 for those who receive doctorates to pursue teaching careers. To be eligible, nurses must teach for at least four years during a six-year period after they graduate.

The article, “The Health-Care Debate in Congress: What’s at Stake for Higher Education,” is available on line to subscribers

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