Macomb, IL – Like many states, Illinois is facing a nursing shortage. It's also dealing with a shortage of educators to teach and train new nurses. The state hopes recently passed legislation will address the issues. The measure will create a state nursing center. It will also provide money for nursing educator scholarships, plus it will allow merit - in addition to financial need - to be considered in awarding scholarships. In addition, the measure will provide money for nursing school grants and to forgive the student loans of those who choose to become nurse educators. Illinois Public Health Department Director Eric Whitaker shared details of the plan at Western Illinois University on Thursday. WIU is in the process of starting a nursing program.