North Dakota will give health care facilities money if they can attract nurses who will work in the state for four years.

The state Department of Commerce announced last week it opened applications for its nonresident nursing employment recruitment program, an initiative aimed at attracting and retaining nurses amid a shortage. Health care facilities will receive up to $4,000 for each nurse relocated to North Dakota, a news release said.

“We have had a chronic shortage of nurses in North Dakota for at least 15 years,” said state Sen. David Hogue, R-Minot. “In our school system, we cannot grow the amount of nurses that we need organically in North Dakota. So that tells me we have to get them from out of state.”

In an amendment to the commerce department’s 2019-21 budget, Hogue proposed adding $500,000 to create the program.

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