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The New York State Nurses Association reached an agreement this week on a four-year contract with the NYC Hospital Alliance in which the hospitals agreed to spend $100 million to fill vacancies and add new positions. The NYC Hospital Alliance is made up of Montefiore, Mount Sinai, and New York–Presbyterian health systems.

According to the New York State Nurses Association, the agreement could lead to the hiring of 1,450 nurses, adding to the estimated 11,000 nurses currently employed at facilities run by the three health systems. The agreement is tentative, and follows a months-long dispute over staffing levels.

The number of nurses hired will depend on the types of positions that the nurse’s union and hospitals agree to fill. If specialized nurses with higher salaries are in demand, the $100 million won’t yield as many hires. But the contract does comprise on the issue of staffing ratios, stating that nurse-to-patient ratios will be assigned based on how sick the patients are in a given unit. However, there will not be a maximum number of patients that a given nurse can treat at one time.

Marc Kramer, lead negotiator for the NYC Hospital Alliance, tells crainsnewyork.com, “This significant investment in our nursing teams will ultimately benefit patients in the long term while preserving hospitals’ flexibility to deliver the individual, tailored health care that our institutions are known for around the world.”

The contract also outlines a new collaborative process for the nurse’s union and hospitals to address staffing needs. Union officials will meet with each health system’s management team annually to discuss staffing issues and hospitals have agreed to have an independent third party enforce staffing levels.

To learn more about a new agreement between the New York State Nurses Association and the NYC Hospital Alliance to spend $100 million on hiring nurses in an effort to address staffing shortages, visit here.

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