There is a critical nursing shortage in Vermont and the state has invested tens of millions of dollars to attract, teach, and keep and new nurses but a report by the state auditor’s office shows that it’s not clear if the investments are paying off. The state is trying to combat the decline of nurses by investing almost $8 million in student loan forgiveness and scholarships. COVID caused a mass exodus of nurses and staffing was down even before that. To make up for the loss, the University of Vermont Health Network budgeted $350 million for traveling staff in the past three years, double the amount it costs to pay for permanent nurses. One of the most important recommendations is that Vermont needs to do a better job of keeping track of whether or not these incentives are working with more data.
- Northeast Kingdom Human Services is making headway on creating a mental health facility
- There are no plans to replace the Millers Run Covered Bridge