According to Bureau of Health Workforce, Georgia ranks sixth in a nationwide nurse shortage — with rural areas being hardest hit
Atlanta, Ga. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff is working across the aisle to lower taxes for nurses who serve Georgia communities.
Sen. Ossoff is working with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to pass the bipartisan Nurse Corps Tax Parity Act, which would cut taxes for nurses who join the Federal Nurse Corps — a national program aimed at delivering health care services in rural and underserved communities.
The Nurse Corps program offers scholarships and loan repayments for health care providers in exchange for service in these areas; however, scholarships and loan forgiveness are currently subjected to Federal income taxes. The bipartisan Nurse Corps Tax Parity Act would ensure nurses who serve do not have to pay Federal income tax on student loan forgiveness and scholarships.
“I want to make it easier and more attractive for health care professionals to come and serve the people of Georgia,” Sen. Ossoff said. “All Georgians deserve world-class health care, which is why I’m working to bring Republicans and Democrats together to lower taxes for nurses who serve Georgia communities.”
Sen. Ossoff has long worked to strengthen access to health care for Georgia families.
Earlier this month, Sens. Ossoff and Warnock secured bipartisan support in Congress to help build a new instructional facility at Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon to expand the college’s nursing workforce development program.
Last year, Sen. Ossoff brought Republicans and Democrats in Congress together to strengthen health care services across the state, including delivering a new mobile mammography unit in Northwest Georgia; helping build a new emergency trauma helipad in Gainesville; expanding transportation options to Crisp Regional Hospital in Cordele; building a new wing of Fort Valley’s CareConnect facility; and delivering new MRI machines to Augusta University Medical Center.
In 2021, Sen. Ossoff also successfully pushed the U.S. Department of State to ramp up efforts to address the ongoing shortage of nurses and health care workers at hospitals in Georgia and nationwide.
The Nurse Corps Tax Parity Act of 2023 is endorsed by the American Nurses Association (ANA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA), the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), the Association of Public Health Nurses (APHN), the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Commissioned Officers Association of the USPHS (COA), Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR), and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS).
“The Nurse Corps program is a critical component of our nation’s health care system. Many Americans, including millions of people living in rural and underserved communities, have benefited from the increased access to high-quality care that the Nurse Corps program enables,” said ANA President Jennifer Mensik Kennedy, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “Removing taxes on scholarships and loans provided by the Nurse Corps would help to bring it in line with other programs that empower health care professionals to practice in high-need areas.”
“The Nurse Corps scholarship and loan repayment programs are vital sources of federal support, not only for our students and practitioners, but for the healthcare system as a whole,” said Dr. Deborah Trautman, President and CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. “We look forward to working with Congress to move this bipartisan effort forward.”
“Nurses got us through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, they continue to hold our health care system together, doing incredibly challenging work in the face of unprecedented staffing shortages. The Nurse Corps Tax Parity Act will recognize them for their sacrifices by helping them benefit from scholarships, repay their loans and receive some tax relief. It is a step forward in addressing the staffing crisis, while allowing nurses to acquire new skills and improving patient care,” said AFSCME President Lee Saunders.
“Like the nearly 1,000 nurses who serve on active duty in the USPHS, the Nurse Corps have responded to major health crises, natural disasters, and provided services in underserved communities. The Nurse Corps Scholarship applicants, who have placed themselves second to the health of the nation, deserve the same tax benefits as other programs. It’s time to bring equity and relief to the nurses and support the Nurse Tax Parity Act” said CAPT Jacqueline Rychnovsky, USN (Ret.), PhD, CAE, Executive Director of the COA.
Click here to read the bipartisan Nurse Corps Tax Parity Act.