Two Democrats named Tom today touted federal grants which help folks finance nursing degrees and attract new folks to the profession. The state is using over one-million dollars in federal funds to establish mentoring programs for new nurses and to provide financial incentives for recruiting and retaining nurses. Governor Tom Vilsack says there’s a “severe” nursing shortage that’ll only get worse as people his age — the Baby Boom generation — begin to retire.Senator Tom Harkin says the grant money can also be used to create “nursing stimulus packages” for nurses who work in critical shortage areas in Iowa. Harkin says the nurses and nurse aids play a critical role in health care. Harkin and Vilsack made their comments during a news conference at Grandview College’s Wellness Center in Des Moines.
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