AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued this statement today following the Texas Senate’s unanimous passage of Senate Bill 25, Creating New Scholarships for Nursing Students, by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham:
“Last fall I came up with the idea of a new scholarship program to address our nursing shortage in Texas. I asked Chair Kolkhorst to design the program and she has done a masterful job in crafting this legislation.
“It is more critical than ever that Texas invest in its healthcare workforce. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas was projecting a significant shortage in the number of registered nurses needed to keep pace with our robust population growth and demand. From 2018 to 2032, the Texas Department of State Health Services estimates that supply of registered nurses will lag demand by 8.3%.
“SB 25 grants authority to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to establish programs to help with student loan repayment and scholarships for registered nurses and licensed vocational nurses as well as nurses who are seeking or have already achieved advanced degrees to become nursing faculty.
“As Lt. Governor, I have created scholarship programs for law enforcement and math and science teachers. SB 25 provides this similar program to address the nurse shortage in Texas. I thank Chair Kolkhorst and the Texas Senate for their bipartisan commitment to improving our workforce.”