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Sweeney Urges Governor to Sign Bill to Support Heroic Service of Nurses

Trenton – Senate President Steve Sweeney today urged Governor Murphy to sign legislation (S-3031) to support the heroic work of New Jersey nurses whose service saved lives and provided vital care for those who contracted the virus during the pandemic. The measure, approved by the Senate on June 3, would require the Board of Nursing to review the current requirements for a nursing degree and make modifications to incorporate additional infection prevention courses and training on post-acute care so the nurses can better protect themselves and their patients.

“Courage is the word that comes to mind when I think of the amazing work of nurses across New Jersey during the pandemic, and every day in fact,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “They put themselves literally on the front line of a deadly virus, risking their own health, because of their commitment to save others.

“This bill will ensure that nurses have much more substantial educational support than they have been previously provided so they can protect themselves and those they care for. The need for this is not at all a reflection on their work during the past year. Rather it is a reflection that we as a state need to do—and can do–much more for them as they bravely face not just viruses like COVID-19, but a wide range of difficult challenges each day. Nurses need our support, and this important legislative mandate to enhance their training is one way to accomplish that. I look forward to the Governor signing it into law.”

The bill, co-sponsored by Senator Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex), would require the Board of Nursing to review the current nursing curriculum and clinical experience requirements and incorporate the Nursing Home Infection Preventionist Training Course offered through the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or a successor course. As part of the review, the board would also be authorized to make or recommend additional modifications to the curriculum, as they deem appropriate, to ensure that licensed practical nurses and registered nurses receive adequate training on post-acute care.