LANSING, Mich. (April 7, 2022) – Sens. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) and Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) introduced legislation that incentivizes health care professionals to act as trainers or “preceptors”.

Senate Bills 998 and 999 would create a $1,000 tax credit for every 250 hours that someone serves as a “preceptor” or trainer for a medical doctor, an advanced practice nurse, or for a physician assistant’s required clinical rotation. Preceptors are experienced, hands-on health care professionals who mentor medical and nursing students while they finish their training and licensure. They are the ones most often observing students performing first-time procedures, guiding them while keeping patients safe.

“We’re not only facing a nursing shortage, but we’re also facing a shortage of people who teach our nurses,” Sen. Irwin said. “Without preceptors, our medical schools can’t enroll as many students, and we can’t train enough doctors, nurses, and care workers. We have a workforce shortage in hospitals and clinics, and we need to take steps now to address this issue before it gets worse.”

Providing a tax incentive to the preceptors is one tool that Michigan needs in the fight against the health care worker shortage.

“Our legislation creates a needed incentive for these professionals to continue training and attract new preceptors,” Sen. VanderWall said. “Just like when they treat patients, preceptors are on the front lines of preparing the next generation of nurses and doctors. These experienced mentors are key. Reducing their tax burden so that they can better support families is one of the best ways we can show our appreciation and recognize their critical role in our health care system.”

A student needs 250 clinical hours working under the supervision of a preceptor to become a licensed nurse in Michigan. Often students need to find their own preceptors to work under, but because of the departure of experienced nurses, finding a preceptor is becoming increasingly difficult for many nursing students.

Teaching colleges are also reporting that finding professionals who will donate their time to train new health care professionals is getting harder. Nursing school and hospital administrators have said that financial incentives such as tax breaks help attract and keep preceptors.