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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Lyndon Carlson, Sr. (DFL)

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NURSING SHORTAGE REQUIRES A NEW APPROACH BY THE STATE

Thursday, February 24, 2005
State Rep. Lyndon Carlson PRESS RELEASE Minnesota House of Representatives Contact: Melissa Parker District 45B(651) 296-4255 (651) 296-8873 283 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN 55155 melissa.parker@house.mn February 24, 2005 NURSING SHORTAGE REQUIRES A NEW APPROACH BY THE STATE SAINT PAUL—In an attempt to address Minnesota's severe nursing shortage, Rep. Lyndon Carlson (DFL-Crystal) has introduced a bill that would encourage nurses to participate in the teaching and training of the next class of nurses in postsecondary programs. The bill, House File 1227, would expand the state's loan forgiveness program to nurses willing to teach at least 20 hours a week in the nursing healthcare fields in which the greatest need exists, examples may be clinical laboratory technology or surgical technology. The state of Minnesota currently offers loan forgiveness for health professionals that agree to serve in rural areas facing a shortage of medial professional or underserved urban communities. Rep. Carlson explained that the state's most immediate concern is the shortage of licensed practical nurses to serve in long-term care facilities. "We need to take innovative approaches to the nursing shortage in Minnesota today so that we are prepared for tomorrow's demand," said Carlson. "As the baby-boomer generation ages, we want to be sure that we will have enough medial professionals to provide for their healthcare needs." The bill is co-authored by both Republicans and Democrats and currently awaits a hearing in the House Health Policy and Finance Committee. "We are providing additional incentive to nursing graduates to use their skills to prepare the next class of students in order to meet a critical state need," said Carlson. "This is a common sense solution to address a growing healthcare concern." Rep. Carlson encourages citizens to contact his office with any concerns or issues they would like to see addressed by the legislature. He can be reached at his office at 283 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd., Saint Paul, MN 55155, by phone at (651) 296-4255, or by e-mail at rep.lyndon.carlson@house.mn. -30-
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