Summary: H.R.4231 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (09/30/2004)

Department of Veterans Affairs Nurse Recruitment and Retention Act of 2004 - Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to designate a health care service region, or section within such a region, in which health care facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs are adversely affected by a shortage of qualified nurses, and to conduct a pilot program in such region or section on the use of innovative human-capital tools and techniques in the recruitment of qualified nurses for such positions. Requires the Secretary, as part of the pilot program, to: (1) identify and use private-sector nurse recruitment practices that have proven effective; and (2) revise procedures and systems to reduce the length of the hiring process. Requires a report from the Secretary to the congressional veterans' committees on the extent to which the pilot program achieved the goal of improving the recruitment and retention of nurses in Department health-care facilities.

Authorizes the Secretary, with respect to appointed nurses, to provide: (1) a three 12-hour day work schedule, with authorized overtime after a 36-hour workweek; (2) a seven day, 10-hour work schedule for each two-week period, with authorized overtime after working 80 hours within such period; and (3) a nine-month work period with three months off, with such nurses paid at 75 percent of the full-time rate.

Includes dental hygienists, dental assistants, and blind rehabilitation specialists within those positions which the Secretary is authorized to make appointments.

Authorizes the Secretary to make payments to States to assist State homes in the hiring and retention of nurses and the reduction of nursing shortages at State homes. Limits payment amounts. Requires, from each State home receiving such assistance, an annual report to the Secretary on the use of such funds.

Removes the requirement that the Department's Under Secretary for Health be a doctor of medicine.