Nurse funding, training proposed for rural areas

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A bipartisan bill introduced the Senate could increase the number and quality of nurses in rural areas, lawmakers say.

The "Nursing Education and Quality of Health Care Act" would fund demonstration projects highlighting patient safety practices in nursing education programs. The measure also would fund grants to help recruit, train and retain nurses in rural areas.

"One of the greatest needs for nurses will be in rural areas where the pool of nurses is small and the loss of just one nurse from the workforce can have a profound impact on the health of the community. If we don't act now, we run the risk of compromising the quality and care across the country," said Sen. Hilary Clinton (D-NY), who is co-sponsoring the bill with Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR), a fellow member of the Senate Committee on Aging.