Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards says he has a plan that would put 100-thousand nurses to work in America’s hospitals, nursing homes and clinics within five years. Edwards says there’s a nursing “crisis” in America, and he wants to reward nurses for their hard work as nurses provide 90 percent of the “primary care” in America. Edwards says his first goal is to attract back 50-thousand nurses who’ve left the profession. Edwards says he’d offer grants to help states finance programs that’d help hire more nurses and offer nurses more vacation time. He’d also launch a national initiative on workplace safety for nurses and ban mandatory overtime. Edwards says in addition, he wants to attract 50-thousand new people to the nursing profession. He proposes having the federal government pay all or part of the nursing school tuition of those who agree to work in areas where there are severe nursing shortages.Edwards would spend three billion dollars on these nursing initiatives. Edwards would get the money for this and other proposals by rolling back the tax cuts President Bush signed into law. Edwards says having more nurses will bring down health care costs and reduce the rate of medical errors. Edwards announced his nursing initiative in Marion yesterday afternoon. He’s campaigning in Davenport and Clinton today.
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