Zay bill to cut nursing shortage passes senate

A bill authored by State Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington) that would help address the nursing shortage in Indiana passed the Senate by a vote of 48 to 1.

Senate Bill 436 would make it easier for out of state nurses to come to Indiana by allowing Indiana to participate in a multistate nurse licensure compact.

Under the bill, Indiana would be able to accept nurses from other compact states if they meet the following requirements:

• Graduated or is eligible to graduate from a nurse education program that is approved by a state licensing board;

• Passed the National Council Licensure Examination;

• Eligible or holds an active license;

• Passed a criminal background check; and

• Has a valid Social Security number.

“Participating in a multistate nurse licensure compact would greatly benefit Indiana, as we could recruit more nurses and improve patient access across our state,” Zay said. “Currently, 31 states have joined the compact, and I believe Indiana should follow suit to improve the quality of the nursing profession. With the support of the Indiana Hospital Association, Community Health Network and Indiana Organization of Nurse Executives, I believe we are moving in the right direction, and this legislation would benefit Hoosiers for years to come.”

SB 436 will now move to the House of Representatives for consideration.