Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Skelton Blocking Bi-Partisan Nursing Bill

The Politico reports that the House Armed Services Committee Chairman is blocking a bipartisan bill aimed at addressing the nation's nursing shortage because he fears it may hurt the Army.

The "Troops to Nurse Teachers Act" is backed by Democrats like Sen. Richard Durbin and Republicans like Sen. Elizabeth Dole. But not Ike.

Rep. Ike Skelton is concerned that some of the proposals would take midcareer-level nurses out of the Army, where there's also a shortage.

“What we’re hoping for is for the secretary [of defense] to study the issue and develop a plan," said Lara Battles, Armed Services Committee spokesperson. Battles noted that the military itself has a nursing shortage. Indeed, some studies show its vacancy rate is higher than that of the nation at large. Skelton is worried that military nurses might be enticed into a university career.

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