Sen. Karina Villa

SPRINGFIELD – To address the shortage of nurses in health care facilities across Illinois, State Senator Karina Villa passed a bill from the Senate on Thursday. 

“Nursing is a difficult profession. It is a demanding job both physically and mentally,” said Villa (D-West Chicago). “Nurses should feel supported, and my hope is this initiative will help provide that support so more people will be inspired to join and stay in the nursing 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. Nurses are a critical part of health care and make up the largest section of the health profession. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that more than 275,000 additional nurses will be needed from 2020 to 2030.

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 ones who are there for us and our loved ones when we are ill,” Villa said. “Nurses are the frontline of the medical profession. Without them, hospitals would struggle. This bill will work to encourage more people to become nurses, and support those who already are.”

House Bill 1615 passed the Senate on Thursday.