Tomorrow (July 6), the Joint Committee on Public Health will consider a proposal that would provide the commonwealth with a much-needed tool for expanding its nursing workforce.
Since the pandemic began, recent and soon-to-be nursing school graduates have been granted the ability to practice nursing while under proper supervision. This flexibility has ensured these qualified caregivers can provide RN-level care even as they wait through the lengthy administrative, exam, and licensure processes that often delay talented professionals from entering from healthcare workforce. It also provides them with additional hands-on training experience as they treat patients under strict supervision.
Massachusetts hospitals and health systems have identified this measure, first passed as an emergency order under the Baker-Polito Administration, as especially effective in helping them manage record workforce shortages and intense capacity constraints, while also enabling them to take pressure off other caregivers.
An Act to improve healthcare development through graduate nursing practice (H.3613) would make this measure permanent past its current March 31, 2024 expiration. Healthcare and nursing leaders are expected to provide testimony at tomorrow’s hearing in strong support of the bill.
“With an estimated 19,000 job vacancies in Massachusetts hospitals alone, our healthcare system is in need of immediate, proven solutions,” said Steve Walsh, President and CEO of the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association. “This emergency measure turned out to be a home run for patient care, and it is now a long-term solution that we can confidently adopt. The past three-plus years have left no doubt: nursing school seniors and recent graduates are an essential and highly capable part of our workforce. MHA and our members are grateful that the Healey-Driscoll Administration has taken action to extend the flexibility, and we look forward to sharing our experience with legislators as they consider this important proposal.”
Joint Committee on Pubic Health
Thursday, July 6; 9.a.m. | Hybrid: Room A-2 and Virtual
Hearing link: https://malegislature.gov/Events/Hearings/Detail/4599