By Jessica Mathews /

A bill sponsored by a local lawmaker to address the health care worker shortage has been signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

House Bill 5089 was sponsored by Republican State Representative Ann Bollin of Brighton Township. It modifies the requirements an applicant must meet to be granted registration as a nurse aide by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. The bill is also said to adjust training requirements without compromising the quality of training, which will help address the health care worker shortage.

Bollin has said the measure makes it easier for those who stepped up to serve as direct care workers at nursing facilities during the pandemic to become certified nursing assistants. It received unanimous support in the Senate and overwhelming bipartisan support in the House.

Bollin previously noted that during the pandemic, temporary nurse aides stepped up to serve the public and accumulated many hours of invaluable on-the-job training. She said the vital work they did on the front lines of the pandemic should count toward their nursing assistant certifications and help them continue to advance their careers.

Whitmer commented that “All Michiganders deserve access to affordable, high-quality health care and by allowing for more nurse aides to enter the field and receive vital training, we’re meeting the needs of the moment”. She added that addressing these challenges with innovative and bipartisan solutions ensures everyone can succeed in Michigan and she’ll continue to work with anyone to improve the healthcare system.

In addition to Bollin’s legislation, Whitmer also signed bills into law that increase the amount of compensation available to crime victims and expand access to other vital services such as mental health resources.