For Immediate Release
Contact: Nancy Webber, 518.782.9400, ext. 223
Latham, NY – Dec. 16, 2008 – The allocation of $2 million in the 2008-09 state budget for nursing education at State University of New York (SUNY) institutions has borne fruit. Because of this funding, about 230 additional students were able to enter SUNY nursing programs this year.
Unfortunately, the Executive Budget released today will cut that funding by 15%.
“Support for nursing education is crucial in bringing more registered nurses into the workforce,” said Tina Gerardi, RN, chief executive officer of the New York State Nurses Association. “It is essential that funding be continued and expanded. Meeting the increasing demand for nurses continues to be a challenge and any reduction in funding for nursing education puts the health and safety of every New Yorker at risk.”
A report released in November by the Center for Health Workforce Studies found that current supply of registered nurses in New York State is below national ratios. The number of RNs working in the state is projected to increase by only 6% in the decade between 2005 and 2015. An 8% increase will be necessary just to keep staffing levels where they are now.
“Patient care also is threatened by the proposed $3.5 billion in cuts to hospitals and nursing homes, which will make it even more difficult for facilities to hire and retain nurses,” Gerardi said. “The Nurses Association will be joining other unions at the State Capitol on Jan. 7, 2009, to urge the legislature to maintain our healthcare system.”
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 36,000 members, it is the state's largest union and professional association for registered nurses. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.