New York provider pushes through education-related reforms to address nursing shortages
Solutions on the desktop include legislation to provide state personal income tax credits for nurse practitioners and other health care workers who serve as clinical tutors for students—a structured guidance that bridges the gap between classroom education and clinical practice training.
The Healthcare Association and the Greater New York Hospital Association, which represent hundreds of systems, nursing homes, and other facilities across the state, urge lawmakers to use funds for nursing residency programs in the upcoming state budget. The hospital group, representing 140 facilities in New York, stated in a written testimony to the conference that the funds will be used for specialized nurse education, curriculum development, and tutor replenishment fees.
Stephen Ferrara, associate dean of clinical affairs at Columbia College of Nursing, said that efforts need to be started early in the nursing career path-as early as elementary school, nurses can help students understand the healthcare career and encourage them to take nursing as a career.
Ferrara said it is also important to create more space for aspiring nurses. The aging of nursing school staff means that the possibility of a shortage of next-generation educators is imminent-he attributed this in part to lower teaching salaries than bedside jobs.
“If we don’t have teachers to educate the massive labor force we need,” he said, “then we will eventually reject qualified candidates.”
Observers say that nurse students in hospitals and nursing homes have a limited number of places to obtain the clinical experience required for graduation. Some stakeholders suggested that the state allow hours of clinical training through virtual simulation labs to count towards graduation requirements, but nurses warn that face-to-face and virtual experiences are not interchangeable.
Pat Kane, executive director of the New York State Nurses Association, which represents more than 42,000 members, said that she theoretically supports expanding the use of simulations, but she said they lack the guidance of face-to-face clinical experience.
She said at the rally hearing on November 17: “When you enter the emergency department, the instructor will not stay with you all the time-I will stay with you.” “Guiding and talking about the profession is like… Yes Very important dialogue.”
Ferrara said that given the evidence that simulation is a quality educational tool for preparing nursing students, the state should at least explore this possibility.
The nursing pipeline has big shoes to fill. According to the Governor’s Office, there are more than 9,300 registered nurse vacancies across the state alone.