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Loan repayment program for Mississippi nurses passed by legislature

Photo courtesy of Singing River Health System/website

A bill that would pay for nursing school for those who agree to work in Mississippi has passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Senate Bill 2373, authored by Senator Rita Parks, R-Corinth, would 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.

On top of the loan repayment program for nurses, a handful of other health care bills are 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, has passed the Senate and awaits a vote in the House. Senate Bill 2371 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.

“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.

Republican-led Senate passes legislation aimed at assisting Mississippi’s hospitals

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