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Senate approves bill to help address state’s nursing shortage

OKLAHOMA CITY – The full Senate has given its approval to a measure aimed at addressing Oklahoma’s nursing shortage, which has worsened as a result of the pandemic.  Senate Bill 1458  would use $55 million of the state’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to establish grant programs to help 21 state colleges, universities, and technology centers to address this pressing need.

Sen. John Haste, R-Broken Arrow, is the co-chair of the Joint Committee on Pandemic Relief Funding’s working group on Health and Human Services and presented the measure to the full Senate on Thursday.

“Last year, we held a public meeting to look at the impact of the pandemic on Oklahoma, and one of the things we learned about was the shortage of nurses at all levels, in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living centers and other facilities,” Haste said.  “Starting this fall, these grants will help 21 institutions to expand their nursing programs, enabling us to better meet this crucial need in our state.”

SB 1458 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration. House Majority Floor Leader John Echols, R-Oklahoma City, is the House principal author of the measure.

"It's absolutely critical we get more nurses into our health care facilities to help improve care and outcomes for Oklahomans," Echols said. "The dollars provided by this legislation will ensure more nurses are trained and ready to help address our current shortage."


For more information, contact:

Sen. John Haste at 405-521-5602 or email

House Majority Floor Leader John Echols, at 405-557-7354 or email