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SENATE PRIORITY BILL ADDRESSING KENTUCKY NURSING SHORTAGE MAKES FINAL PASSAGE

Bill Stephens

March 30th, 2022

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FRANKFORT, KY (March 29, 2022) – Senate Bill (SB) 10, sponsored by Senator Robby Mills (R-Henderson), cleared the legislature today. The goal of the bill is to address the state’s nursing shortage, which was exacerbated by the impacts of COVID-19.

“The arrival of SB 10 to the Governor’s desk is a significant achievement for the nursing profession and, in turn, the wellbeing of so many Kentuckians,” Mills said. “With the bill’s implementation, I trust we will begin to see more nurses in our commonwealth delivering essential quality health care to our patients.”

Professionals in the nursing industry have been overwhelmed and overworked for years. SB 10 aims to fix this, removing red tape that makes it more challenging for nurses to locate in Kentucky and arbitrary enrollment caps created by the Kentucky Board of Nursing (KBN). Undoubtedly, unintended consequences of government policies have caused further stress on the profession over the past two years as elective procedures were suspended, causing thousands of nurses to be furloughed, and mandates were implemented that deterred some nurses from returning to the job.

Upon passage out of the state House of Representatives, SB 10 retained its original provisions, which included a restructuring of the Kentucky Board of Nursing (KBN) in a more equitable fashion. Currently, the KBN consists of governor-appointed members, without geographic consideration of board members’ location and practice status.  The House’s changes to SB 10 included increasing membership in the KBN by adding one certified registered nurse anesthetist as a member of the board.

SB 10 is a thoughtful approach toward addressing a difficult situation with our state’s nursing shortage. This bill focuses on maintaining a high standard of care, while also considering the most efficient ways to bring more nursing professionals to the commonwealth. SB 10 codifies measures into law that will yield positive long-term results for Kentucky’s nursing profession and the patients they serve.

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