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Indiana lawmakers endorse easing rules on nursing schools

The Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis. (WISH Photo, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana lawmakers have endorsed loosening of regulations on nursing education programs in hopes of increasing the number of new nurses and helping fill thousands of open jobs.

The state Senate voted 48-0 on Thursday in favor of allowing nursing schools to increase enrollment and hire more part-time instructors if they have a high percentage of graduates passing the national nursing licensing exam.

The House approved a similar version of the bill last month.

Health officials say some 4,000 nursing jobs are unfilled across the state in a shortage exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic as some nurses have quit or taken part-time jobs.