NY Bill Addresses State’s Critical Nursing Shortage 

NY Bill Addresses State’s Critical Nursing Shortage 

New York passed a bill addressing the state’s nursing shortage. The new legislation permits nursing programs to provide up to one-third of a student’s clinical work in a high-tech simulation environment.

A national study by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing showed that substituting clinical simulation for up to 50 percent of traditional clinical experiences was an effective model that ensured nursing students were fully prepared to enter their profession. As a result, New York joined 31 states currently providing simulated clinical training for nursing students, leveraging technology to provide hands-on learning in a safe environment while prioritizing patient safety.

New York is projected to need more than 40,000 nurses by 2030. Nursing programs across New York are ready to educate the next generation of nurses to resolve this shortage. Still, they face a significant obstacle: a need for quality clinical placements in hospital settings that nurses must complete before receiving their licenses.

These programs are turning away qualified applicants because more clinical training placements are needed. Without enough high-quality clinical placements, nursing programs across the state cannot expand to meet the demand from prospective students to fill the state’s nursing needs.

Permitting nursing programs to utilize simulation-based clinical education for one-third of clinical hours will enable nursing students to receive the training they need and nursing programs to expand to meet demand.

Overseen by NYSED to ensure standards of high-quality simulation are maintained, simulated clinical settings feature realistic cases in which students must deliver healthcare to a simulated patient, reacting to the same data they will use as professionals. Often, these scenarios expose students to cases and situations they may not otherwise experience in a clinical environment.

The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU ), which represents New York’s 100+ private, nonprofit colleges and universities, the City University of New York (CUNY), and the State University of New York (SUNY) worked in partnership with the NYS Legislature and the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to draft this critical legislation.

Here are what those involved in passing this important legislation are saying about this historic collaboration between independent and public higher education sectors and the state education department.

“This legislation is a significant step toward addressing New York’s critical nursing shortage,” says Lola W. Brabham, President of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities. “Private, nonprofit colleges and universities in New York educate 67 percent of nurses and stand ready to help the state meet its nursing workforce needs. This legislation will enable those programs to continue to provide world-class nursing education to New York’s future healthcare heroes.”

CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez says, “CUNY graduates approximately 1,800 nurses per year – about half of all new nurses in NewYorkCity. This legislation will assist CUNY with the challenges nursing programs face with student placements and provide a mechanism for expanding enrollment in nursing. Nursing simulation-based learning is a nationally tested and proven model to deliver high-quality education.”

SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. says, “New York faces a nursing shortage that threatens public health and limits workforce opportunity. Therefore, SUNY strongly supports this important legislation to improve access to modern, high-quality clinical training so more students can complete their degree and become nurses—including at the more than 70 nursing programs across SUNY campuses.”

Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. says, “Nurses are dedicated, vital healthcare professionals who serve some of our most vulnerable populations. The Board of Regents is committed to doing everything possible to help assuage the nursing shortage that is gripping our healthcare system with policies to improve and enhance clinical education to prepare more future nurses for real-world, life-saving situations.”

New York State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa says, “Our priority is always public protection. We worked closely with stakeholders on this important legislation to ensure that quality simulation experience in nursing education programs is clearly defined to prepare nursing students for safe, effective, entry-level practice.”

“New York is facing a nursing shortage,” says Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee. “This legislation will enable more qualified students to have access to a place in a nursing program by allowing nursing students to complete up to one-third of the clinical requirement through a simulation experience. These simulated experiences effectively replicate a nurse’s experience in the field. It is an effective tool that will

help New York train and license more qualified, quality nurses to help fill a growing and critical need.”

“Now that our nursing simulation bill has passed through both Houses, I’m looking forward to the Governor signing it into law. Allowing up to 1/3 of clinical training to be simulation-based will help address our nursing shortage and expose students to a valuable learning experience,” says Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, who introduced the legislation in the Assembly.

“New York will need to hire 30,000 nurses over the next ten years just to fill current vacancies in our healthcare system,” says Assemblymember Patricia Fahy, Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee. “High-tech, simulated learning environments will help recruit and retain more nurses to meet demand while maintaining standards and quality of care for patients across New York State.”

“New York’s nursing programs stand ready to fill the state’s serious shortage of nurses, and this critical legislation will give us the flexibility to do that. The high-tech simulation education our nursing students receive ensures they are well-prepared to succeed in a healthcare career. We are grateful to the Legislature and the New York State Education Department for collaborating on this important issue. We are proud to be a part of this game-changing legislation that will benefit the well-being of New Yorkers for years to come,” says D’Youville University President Lorrie Clemo.

“Having educated the most nurses in the area, Maria College is taking charge of alleviating the nursing shortage. We know that this bill will help us graduate more-qualified nurses to enter the workforce, as it will allow students to use Maria’s simulation technology towards clinical hours. These technologies help create more confident, practice-ready nurses to provide compassionate health care to families in our community and beyond,” says Maria College President Lynn Ortale, Ph.D.