CNMI BILL TO ADDRESS NURSING SHORTAGE

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SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, November 20) – Northern Marianas College (NMC) has expressed support for a bill that would waive the two-year work experience requirement for nonresident graduates of the NMC nursing program.

Acting college president Danny O. Wyatt said the purpose of Senate Bill 15-58 is commendable.

If enacted, S.B. 15-58 would allow nonresident workers to be hired as nurses in the Department of the Public Health immediately after they complete the nursing education program at NMC. The bill would waive the two-year related employment experience required of foreign workers in the Commonwealth.

Furthermore, the proposal would also ensure employment for NMC nursing graduates.

"This has the potential of greatly assisting the health care needs of the CNMI and has my support as the acting president of the Northern Marianas College," he said.

He added that NMC's Nursing faculty has reviewed the proposed legislation and is in support of the Senate bill.

The Department of Public Health has been having difficulty attracting and retaining medical professionals, including nurses, due to tough competition from other jurisdictions. Most U.S. hospitals offer more attractive compensation packages for nurses.

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