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NURSING SHORTAGE IS WEDNESDAY HEARING TOPIC

May 18, 2003 – The Senate Health, Hospitals and Human Services Committee will meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday on St. Croix to discuss the territory's nursing shortage and nurse recruitment and retention.
Sen. Douglas E. Canton Jr., committee chair, said in a release that "the inability to find nurses to work in our environment is requiring that sections of the [Juan F. Luis] hospital be closed due to lack of staffing, and schools are trying desperately to locate nurses to work in the educational system."
Factors contributing to the problem, he said, include global nursing shortages; career alternatives for nurses, often at better salaries; fear of negligence and malpractice actions; poor working conditions and environment; and demands for overtime work.
The committee has invited 17 hospital, health care, union and other government agency representatives to testify at the hearing.
Members of the public also are welcome to offer comments. Those wishing to be scheduled to do so are asked to call Irma Santos at 712-2279 by 3 p.m. Tuesday. The senator may be contacted via e-mail to Canton2k.

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