Sen. Karina Villa

SPRINGFIELD – To help address the shortage of nurses in health care facilities across Illinois, State Senator Karina Villa moved a bill out of the Senate Labor Committee on Wednesday.

“Nurses are an instrumental part of our communities; they are the ones on the frontlines helping our loved ones when they are ill,” said Villa (D-West Chicago). “My hope is this legislation will help support nurses so more people will be inspired to join and stay in the profession.”

The growing scarcity of nurses in Illinois, especially in Southern Illinois, is negatively impacting patients, as well as existing nurses who have to work without a full staff in some of these health care facilities. House Bill 1615 amends the Nurse Practice Act to provide that the Nursing Workforce Center will develop strategies to ensure proper actions are being taken to address the statewide nurse shortages.

This measure will encourage the Nursing Workforce Center to develop a plan to increase the number of nurses in the workforce by outlining several objectives. Such objectives include all license renewals beginning in 2024 and after will be provided with a nursing workforce supply survey, and by 2027 the Nursing Workforce Center will develop a nurse demand and employer survey to be collected biennially.

“Nurses are the bedrock of our health care system,” Villa said. “Being a nurse is a difficult job, and they deserve all of the support we can offer them in their profession.”

House Bill 1615 passed the Senate Labor Committee on Wednesday and heads to the full Senate for further consideration.