Governor signs Matsikoudis and Sauickie bill helping veterans transition to licensed practical nursing careers
TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey veterans with certain medical training will be able to more easily transfer their skills to licensed practical nursing careers under a bill signed by Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday and sponsored by Assemblywoman Michele Matsikoudis and Assemblyman Alex Sauickie.
“New Jersey veterans will now receive the credit they deserve for their valuable military training. This signing means our nation’s heroes can more easily achieve rewarding careers as healthcare heroes. By removing barriers to employment, we help veterans transition to civilian life and start to address critical shortages in the nursing field. It is a win-win,” Matsikoudis (R-Union) said.
According to health officials and educators, there are not enough students currently enrolled in nursing schools to compensate for the large numbers of nurses who will be leaving, estimated to be about 20% to 30% of the nursing workforce. The shortages in nursing are being exacerbated by Covid burnout and early retirements. New Jersey will have the third largest nurse shortage in the country by 2030 — a shortage of more than 11,000 people, reports the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.
“This law recognizes a veteran’s service and education, and applies those skills earned in the military to an in-demand career right here in New Jersey,” Sauickie (R-Ocean) said. “While fixing the state’s nursing shortage is going to take several thoughtful measures, this is an easy step in the right direction and it furthers efforts to make New Jersey the best place to live for veterans.”
Under the law (A2722), veterans who completed nursing, medic, medical technician or similar programs while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces will be recognized as meeting certain education and training requirements to become a licensed practical nurse by the New Jersey Board of Nursing. Typically, a student would need to spend a year at nursing school to be eligible to sit for the licensing exam.