Congressman Fred Keller reintroduces Nurses CARE Act in 117th Congress

January 21, 2021
Press Release
Bipartisan legislation seeks to ensure continuity of care for vulnerable populations

Washington, D.C. Congressman Fred Keller (R-PA) joined Congresswoman Susan Wild (D-PA) in recently reintroducing the Nurses CARE Act for the 117th Congress. This bipartisan bill seeks to ensure long-term care and senior living facilities can maintain adequate staffing levels by allowing temporary nurse aides to retain their certification status after the COVID-19 emergency declaration has been lifted.

 

Specifically, this bill provides states the flexibility to offer on-the-job experience as a partial substitute for certification courses and other evaluations, thereby preventing critical workforce shortages among America’s healthcare providers.

 

“The coronavirus pandemic has changed so much about how we deliver health care at nursing homes, long-term care centers, and skilled nursing facilities,” Keller said. “Congress must act swiftly to protect our seniors, and that includes shoring up the workforce pipeline for essential healthcare workers who have answered the call during the pandemic. In Pennsylvania alone, more than 4,000 temporary nurse aides have joined the ranks of our front-line healthcare workers. Their on-the-job experience should be counted toward certification—not only in recognition of their sacrifices, but also to prevent shortages among healthcare workers in the immediate aftermath of the emergency declaration.”

 

“Since this pandemic began, so many have joined our nursing homes and long-term care facilities in their hour of extreme need—and they deserve their work and on-the-job training to be fully recognized,” Wild said. “I’m proud to reintroduce this bipartisan, commonsense piece of legislation to help prevent critical health care shortages or gaps in Pennsylvania and ensure those who answered the call to get our most vulnerable through this emergency have a pathway for full-time employment once this pandemic ends.”

 

Full text of this legislation is available here.