New initiative provides $6.5 million to recruit and retain nurses amid pandemic

Written by on September 29, 2021

New initiative provides $6.5 million to recruit and retain nurses amid pandemic

By Hayden Mitman

September 29, 2021

Photo by Laura James from Pexels

Nurses throughout the state will soon have easier access to student loan relief, and more opportunities for apprenticeships and hospital residencies through a new $6.5 million initiative. 

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State Sen. Maria Collett (D-Bucks), a former trauma nurse herself, announced the plan, citing a study done by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses that found two-thirds of nurses have considered leaving the profession during the pandemic.

“The most common reason young nurses reported for planning to leave the profession was stress and burnout. When good nurses leave the workforce, the quality of patient care goes down,” she said.

Most of the money in the COVID-19 Nursing Workforce Initiative will be used for student loan relief. The rest will be spent on apprenticeship programs, residencies and mentorships. 

Acting State Secretary of Health Alison Beam said the funding will be crucial, as nurses need the additional support. 

“Eighteen months and counting into the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses are still on the front lines caring for sick patients. Understandably so, many of them are burnt out because of this pandemic and many of them are leaving the profession that they love,” Beam said.

The initiative will be funded through federal money made available in President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan. 

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