SALT LAKE CITY — A state council that secures and stabilizes the state's supply of health care providers would get a new mandate under SB147, projecting the future demand for nurses in Utah.
The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Ann Millner, R-Ogden, also would require reporting to the Legislature's Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee.
The statewide report would examine the demand regionally and drill down to rural Utah, providing information "that would allow us to make data-driven decisions," Millner said. "Do we have pockets of needs we particularly need to address?"
The bill also creates a process for the Legislature to fund programs to train and educate future nurses.
"We all know there is a significant nursing shortage in the state of Utah at this point in time," Millner said.
Washington County, for instance, is expecting to triple in population over next 40 years, she said.
"That may be an area that we need to be particularly responsive to," she said.
The Utah Medical Education Council, which was created by the Legislature, conducts health care workforce research to advise on Utah’s health care training needs and to influence graduate medical education financing policies, according to its website. The council also facilitates training of health care professionals in rural Utah.