Sens. Clinton, Smith Introduce ‘Magnet’ Program Bill to Retain Nurses
Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) yesterday introduced a bill to encourage hospitals to set up "magnet programs" to recruit and retain nurses, CongressDaily reports. It will be incorporated into legislation addressing the nursing shortage, scheduled for markup today at the Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions Committee meeting. The Nurse Retention and Quality Care Act of 2001 (S 1594) would use magnet programs -- which "directly involv[e] nurses in decision making and day-to-day operations" and "increas[e] opportunities for nurses to obtain advanced education and balanc[e] work and family life" -- in an attempt to retain existing nurses. Aides to the senators said it would authorize $45 million in grants to health care organizations over six years for the program. The magnet bill stands in contrast to the other bills scheduled for markup today, which "focus mainly on encouraging new students to pursue nursing as a career and increasing the supply of people to teach them" (Rovner, CongressDaily, 10/30). The measure has the support of the American Nurses Association and the American Hospital Association (Clinton release, 10/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.