Advocacy Correspondence: House Professional Licensure Committee, Support for Senate Bill 115
June 4, 2021
TO: Members of the Pennsylvania House Professional Licensure Committee
FROM: The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania
SUBJECT: Support Nurse Licensure Compact Bill—Senate Bill 115
The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), on behalf of its members— more than 240 acute and specialty hospitals and health systems—appreciates the opportunity to provide comments on the proposed legislation authorizing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to join the Nurse Licensure Compact, Senate Bill 115. HAP asks for your support in allowing Pennsylvania to take necessary steps to bolster Pennsylvania’s health care workforce and ensure access to care. Please vote “yes” on Senate Bill 115 as introduced, without amendment.
U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration projects that Pennsylvania will be second to only Texas in experiencing the nation’s most significant nursing shortage by 2030. These shortages will only be exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and, while many other professions are experiencing shortages, hospitals are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide life saving care. Joining the Nurse Licensure Compact is essential to ensure patient safety, keep hospital doors open, and continue community programs that many rely on.
Additionally, in January of 2020, HAP published recommendations compiled by an industry- wide, practitioner diverse task force, “Addressing Pennsylvania’s Health Care Workforce Challenges,” that highlighted the health care workforce needs of the commonwealth to ensure access to quality care. Joining compacts—like the nurse licensure compact—enables Pennsylvania’s patient population to leverage the nation’s entire health care workforce and brings the commonwealth closer to meeting those needs.
Patient safety and health is the number one priority of Pennsylvania’s hospitals and health systems. Hour by hour, hospitals are continually weighing a number of variables—such as the number of available providers, the acuity levels of current patients, and the anticipated additional influx of new patients. This could not be more evident than during the past year as hospitals and their health care teams continued to be at the center of the COVID-19 response. The ability to open more beds, keep wards operating, or respond to an emergency hinges on access to providers.
By passing Senate Bill 115, the commonwealth would be taking preliminary but necessary steps to support the health care workforce of the future.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Topics: Access to Care, Workforce
Revision Date: 6/4/2021
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