WASHINGTON--Congressman Jerry Moran July 24 praised the passage of the Nurses Reinvestment Act.

The legislation could improve recruiting efforts and increase the retention rate of nurses in Kansas and other medically underserved areas. Kansas is facing a decline in the number of nurses as more nurses retire or move into other fields and fewer students enter nursing training.

"There is no more important issue facing our country than health care--is it available, and can I afford it," Moran said. "To meet the health care needs of Kansans, we need more health care professionals."

The Nurse Reinvestment Act establishes a nursing scholarship program for nursing students who agree to work for at least two years at health care facilities with nursing shortages. It also creates nursing internship and residency programs.

In addition, grants would be made available to help individuals at any level of the nursing profession obtain more education--from a nursing aide to an individual pursuing a doctoral degree. This legislation also creates a program to help attract individuals into faculty positions.

"We face a nursing shortage in Kansas, which burdens our health care facilities, both rural and urban," Moran said. "We need to not only help recruit new nurses to the profession, but also provide incentives to help retain nurses and offer scholarships to those who are already employed."

In 2000, Kansas had 29,849 registered nurses, a decrease of 2,551 nurses from 1998. In addition, the number of Kansas nursing school admissions and nursing school graduates has steadily declined over the last ten years.

For more information, contact Congressman Moran at (202) 225-2715 or visit his Web page at www.house.gov/moranks01/.

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