June 10, 2009

New Gillibrand Report: More Than 100,000 Additional Nurses Needed Across New York State in 2020

Gillibrand Unveils Plans to Train More Nursing Instructors, Create More Educational Opportunities at Nursing Institutions, Incentivize New Nurses to Work in Underserved Areas

Washington, D.C. - According to a new report released by U.S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, New York State is projected to need an additional 105,739 nurses by 2020. In response to the growing need for nurses statewide, Senator Gillibrand today unveiled plans to create more educational opportunities at nursing institutions, train more nursing instructors, and incentivize new nurses to work in underserved areas.

"We cannot fix health care if we do not address America's nursing shortage," Senator Gillibrand said. "The root of the problem is that nursing institutions across the state lack the faculty and space they need to train the next generations of nurses we need to provide quality care. My plan will deliver the right mix of incentives and resources to make sure every corner of New York has the nurses we need to provide quality care to our children and families over the next decade."

According to the Center for Health Workforce Studies, New York has substantially fewer registered nurses per capita than the national average. Nursing institutions across New York report that lack of nursing instructors and limited physical space force them to turn down qualified nursing applicants every year. Making the problem worse, nearly 20 percent of current nurses are over the age of 55 and will likely enter retirement over the next decade. Statewide, New York's current vacancy rate for nurses is approximately 8.6 percent. In 10 years, New York State will need 105,739 additional nurses to provide quality care.

VIEW Senator Gillibrand's report.

  • New York City's current vacancy rate for nurses is approximately 7.5 percent. In 10 years, 59,694 additional nurses will be needed;
  • Western New York's current vacancy rate for nurses is approximately 10.6 percent. In 10 years, 7,574 additional nurses will be needed;
  • The Rochester/Finger Lakes Region's current vacancy rate for nurses is approximately 10.8 percent. In 10 years, 3,965 additional nurses will be needed;
  • Central New York's current vacancy rate for nurses is approximately 14.7 percent. In 10 years, 2,192 additional nurses will be needed;
  • The Mohawk Valley's current vacancy rate for nurses is approximately 4.3 percent. In 10 years, 2,942 additional nurses will be needed;
  • The Southern Tier's current vacancy rate for nurses is approximately 7.2 percent. In 10 years, 4,951 additional nurses will be needed;
  • The Capital Region's current vacancy rate for nurses is approximately 8.2 percent. In 10 years, 2,263 additional nurses will be needed;
  • The North Country's current vacancy rate for nurses is approximately 9.5 percent. In 10 years, 930 additional nurses will be needed;
  • The Hudson Valley's current vacancy rate for nurses is approximately 5.7 percent. In 10 years, 8,704 additional nurses will be needed;
  • Long Island's current vacancy rate for nurses is approximately 6.3 percent. In 10 years, 12,524 additional nurses will be needed.

In response to the new numbers detailing the nursing shortage and the rising demand for nurses over the next 10 years, Senator Gillibrand will work to:

1.      Increase Nursing Faculty. Faculty salary can be as much as 15 percent less than nurses make practicing in the field, resulting in a shortage of nurses willing to serve as instructors. To help attract more nurses into teaching, Senator Gillibrand will work to establish a graduate degree loan repayment program for nurses that become nursing school faculty members. She is pushing the Nurses' Higher Education Loan Repayment (HEAL) Act, which will offer 100 percent loan repayment to nurses who choose a faculty role.

2.      Increase Spots at Nursing Schools. To address the long term nursing shortage, Senator Gillibrand will work to provide grants to schools of nursing to increase the number of nursing faculty and students. Senator Gillibrand will cosponsor the Nurse Education, Expansion, and Development Act of 2009, which would require schools to formulate and implement plans that will expand educational opportunities for new nurses and provide critical federal funding to pay for it.

3.      Incentivize Nurse Practitioners and Other Providers in Underserved Area. Earlier this year, Senator Gillibrand helped pass President Obama's Economic Recovery plan, which included $300 million to the National Health Service Corps to recruit more nurses to serve in underserved areas. In the coming months, Senator Gillibrand will advocate for additional funds to encourage more nurses and other providers to work in underserved areas.

4.      Invest in Long Term Development of Nursing Workforce. After three years of relatively flat funding, Senator Gillibrand is working with her colleagues to secure $215 million for Nursing Workforce Development (Title VIII of the Public Health Service Act) for Fiscal Year 2010. This funding would support the education of registered nurses, advanced practice registered nurses, nurse faculty and nurse researchers. 


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