Bill addresses civilian nursing shortage

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The Troops to Nurse Teachers Act, a bipartisan Senate bill that would boost the number of military nursing teachers in civilian nursing schools, is meeting some stiff resistance from a congressman. 

As a way to stem the nursing shortage, the bill would allow military nurses to teach at civilian nursing schools without leaving the service. But Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO) has expressed concern over the shortage of nurses in the military, and said removing nurses from the field during wartime would be a mistake, according to www.politico.com.

But the bill's sponsor, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said that nurses would only be removed from duty if the needs of the military permit it. More than 40,000 qualified nursing students were turned away from schools due to a lack of qualified teachers, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nurses. Twenty-eight nursing organizations support the bill.