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Gov. Perry signs nursing shortage bill at TWU’s Dallas-Parkland Center


Photo credit: Shannon Drawe

Cutline: Gov. Perry ceremonially signs the Professional Nursing Shortage Bill at TWU’s Dallas-Parkland center on Thursday, Aug. 27. Shown with Gov. Perry and TWU nursing students are, from left: TWU Student Regent Rae Lynn McFarlin, TWU Chancellor Ann Stuart and State Rep. Myra Crownover (R-Lake Dallas).

August 28, 2009 – DALLAS – Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signed House Bill 4471, which improves the Professional Nursing Shortage Reduction Program by increasing funding and providing incentives for nursing programs to enroll and graduate more nurses, at Texas Woman’s University’s Dallas-Parkland center on Thursday, Aug. 27.

As Texas and the nation face a critical shortage of nurses and healthcare providers, lack of faculty to train new nurses is a factor that often is overlooked. Just one new nursing faculty member can help produce up to 25 new nurses. HB 4471 provides up-front funding so that TWU and other Texas universities can hire more nursing faculty.

“We need more qualified nurses graduating in Texas, and House Bill 4471 accelerates us toward that goal,” Gov. Perry said. “This bill is an important investment in the future of health care in our state, and I am proud to have worked with our Legislature to address the nursing shortage in Texas.”

HB 4471 improves the Professional Nursing Shortage Reduction Program, which was established in 2001, to help stem the shortage of nurses in Texas. The bill rewards high-performing nursing programs with up-front money to hire additional nursing faculty. This session the Legislature appropriated $49.7 million to the Professional Nursing Shortage Reduction Program for 2010-2011, a $35 million increase over 2008-2009.

“Gov. Perry has continuously worked to improve the state of education in Texas as a way to enhance the quality of life and strengthen our workforce,” TWU Chancellor Ann Stuart said. “As the largest college of nursing in Texas, TWU appreciates the opportunity to receive this up-front funding so we can hire more faculty, thus increasing nursing enrollment and graduates.”

TWU’s College of Nursing is eligible to receive the largest amount of funding from this program due to the university’s high nursing graduation rates and enrollment.

“One of the factors contributing to the state and national nursing shortage is the lack of qualified faculty available to educate students who want to become nurses,” said Dr. Pat Holden-Huchton, dean of the TWU College of Nursing. “These funds will allow TWU to help address this shortage by increasing our ability to attract highly-qualified faculty in order to graduate more new nurses to serve the citizens of Texas.”

Texas nursing schools graduated more than 7,600 new registered nurses in 2008, a 69.7 percent increase over 2001. Despite these gains, Texas nursing schools will not produce a sufficient number of nurses to meet the health care needs of Texans through 2020, according to the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies. Nursing schools often cite the lack of faculty as the biggest barrier to enrolling more students.

With more than 2,500 nursing students at its Denton, Dallas and Houston campuses, TWU has the largest College of Nursing program in the state and one of the largest graduate nursing programs in the country. For more information, visit www.twu.edu/nursing.



Media Contact:
Amanda Simpson
Director of News and Information
Tel: (940) 898-3456
e-mail: asimpson1@twu.edu

Page last updated August 28, 2009

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