SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to recruit more nurses to work at Illinois medical facilities, State Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton passed a measure to extend the time nurses can practice while waiting for the review of their license application.

“Nurses should not lose out on work due to application waiting periods,” said Glowiak Hilton (D-Western Springs). “This initiative helps address the state’s nursing shortage, provides our nurses more experience with patients and ensures application delays do not affect their ability to work.”

House Bill 5047 would allow advanced practice registered nurses with pending applications to practice under supervision for six months while waiting for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation’s review of their application. Under current law, this status is revoked after three months. These nurses would need to have completed at least 250 hours of continuing education in their area of certification and have at least 4,000 hours of clinical experience to be applicable for this opportunity.

According to The Illinois Update, over half of registered nurses in Illinois are over the age of 55, with the state being projected to see a nursing shortage of 15,000 by 2025. Glowiak Hilton’s initiative would help combat this shortage and bring more nurses to hospitals within the state.

“We cannot afford to turn away accredited health care professionals,” said Glowiak Hilton. “There needs to be proactive steps taken to ensure these highly skilled nurses can contribute to patient care and medical facilities are not left understaffed.”

House Bill 5047 passed the Senate Thursday.