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Gov. Reeves signs loan repayment program for nurses into law

Baptist Desoto
Photo courtesy of Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto/Facebook

A bill that will pay for nursing school for those who agree to work in Mississippi has been signed by Governor Tate Reeves.

Senate Bill 2373, authored by Senator Rita Parks, R-Corinth, will award nurses who agree to work in a Mississippi hospital up to $6,000 each year for three years ($18,000 total) to go toward any outstanding student loan debt.

“This legislation will strengthen the pipeline of medical professionals and improve the quality of care for all Mississippians,” said Reeves. “Innovation is the solution to our health care challenges and it is the solution to keeping talented Mississippians here.”

At this time, three additional pieces of legislation addressing health care in Mississippi are still moving through the legislative process:

  • Senate Bill 2323, which would allow community hospitals to collaborate and consolidate with non-profit entities, has passed both chambers but heads back to the Senate for another vote after lawmakers in the House made an amendment.
  • Senate Bill 2372, which would provide at least $80 million in lifeline money to hospitals, will be returned to the Senate after legislators in the House made an amendment.
  • Senate Bill 2371, which looks to create a hospital residency and fellowship grant providing start-up costs to create or add capacity in existing programs in medical or surgical specialty areas in the state’s hospitals, will also be headed back to the Senate for another vote.

“Mississippians should have access to affordable, quality healthcare, and our hospitals across the state are a critical part of this network,” Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann said. “The proposed funding is short-term, but these bills also are the beginning of a thoughtful, candid conversation about the delivery of healthcare in our state.”

With 28 hospitals across the state currently in danger of closing, some lawmakers have argued that $80 million in lifeline money is not enough, as hospitals are currently requesting $230 million.

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