Kohl's bill aims to bolster flagging caregiver workforce

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Report: Finding qualified staff will be a challenge
Report: Finding qualified staff will be a challenge
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) last month took a swipe at the workforce shortage with new legislation that would provide funding for more educational and training opportunities for caregivers.

“The number of healthcare workers devoted to caring for older Americans is experiencing a shortage—one that will only grow more desperate as our country ages more rapidly,” said Kohl, chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, in a statement.

The bill, “Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Healthcare Workforce,” would carry the following provisions: Expand funding for Geriatric Education Centers for grants in geriatrics at health professions schools, establish tuition stipends for long-term care direct care workers to acquire nursing degrees, and require government to research turnover and retention and other long-term care issues.

It also would expand the Nursing Comprehensive Geriatric Education Program to support additional training in geriatrics for nurses and nursing faculty, and establish a National Resource Center on Students, Volunteers and Seniors to help expose high school and college students to nursing and other fields.

Kohl plans to reintroduce the bill early this year.

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