Nebraska Officials Fear Nursing Shortage

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - As nurses age and more people gain access to health care, state officials and educators are concerned about a nursing shortage.

It's already an issue in Nebraska, where eight counties lack a registered nurse and 39 counties lack a nurse practitioner.

To deal with the issue, the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing has changed its program for registered nurses earning a bachelor's degree in nursing. Nursing college dean Juliann Sebastian says the change will help make the transition to a bachelor's degree seamless and aligned with a nurse's prior education and experience.

In the Legislature, Sen. Sue Crawford, of Bellevue, introduced a bill that would remove a rule requiring a doctor to sign on as someone who is working with the nurse practitioner.

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