STAND. COM. REP. NO.3426
RE: S.C.R. No. 53
Honorable Robert Bunda
President of the Senate
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Labor, to which was referred S.C.R. No. 53 entitled:
"SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PANEL TO STUDY AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS ON WORKFORCE ISSUES RELATED TO THE NURSING PROFESSION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to establish a panel to study and make recommendations on workforce issues affecting the nursing profession.
Testimony in support of the measure was received from the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, the Hawaii Government Employees Association, and the Hawaii Nurses' Association. The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs testified in opposition to the measure.
Your Committee finds that many states report current and projected shortages of registered nurses, primarily due to an aging workforce and recent declines in nursing school enrollments. Increases in demands for registered nurses and licensed practical nurses in nursing homes and home healthcare are expected to grow between twenty-one to thirty-five percent.
This projected shortage of nurses within our nation will have an adverse impact in Hawaii, due to the difficulty it presents in competing with other states for nurses. As such, your Committee believes that recruitment, retention, and utilization issues related to this critical workforce must be addressed in a systematic and comprehensive manner. However, your Committee believes that the measure, as received by your Committee, does not go far enough in finding a solution to a problem that is already upon us.
In light of this belief, your Committee has amended the measure by:
(1) Deleting its contents and inserting therefor, provisions that require the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to convene a working group to develop legislation that establishes a Center for Nursing in Hawaii; and
(2) Amending the title of the measure to reflect its new purpose.
Your Committee realizes that the supply of nurses within the nation and Hawaii continues to be unpredictable and the demand will continue to grow due to the rapid aging of our population. Consequently, your Committee believes that establishing a Center for Nursing will allow Hawaii to develop a state response to the nursing shortage and proactively work to retain and attract nurses so that an adequate level of nursing care is maintained within our healthcare institutions.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Labor that is attached to this report, your Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of S.C.R. No. 53, as amended herein, and recommends its adoption in the form attached hereto as S.C.R. No. 53, S.D. 1.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Labor,
BOB NAKATA, Chair