Nursing has been a leader in job growth in New York State—both RNs and NPs are in demand. Between 2014 and 2024, the NYS Department of Health projects job growth for nursing to the tune of 7,500 annual openings.
This year, as in past years, hundreds of nursing students attended Lobby Day with the help of NYSNA. Our union actively promotes the funding of public universities and community colleges so that these exceptional young people will have educational opportunities and join our ranks. And as the graduates enter the workforce, NYSNA focuses on their needs going forward.
One fundamental need: safe staffing. Lobby Day’s focus on quality and safe care for patients through safe staffing helps ensure that the work conditions for these young nurses—and all nurses—are good conditions. That is the fight for our profession, our patients and their families.
In New York, RNs who are 55 and older grew by almost 6 percent between 2005 and 2014, with nearly two-thirds of actively practicing nurses over the age of 50.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. population is projected to increase by almost 100 million from 2012 to 2060. By 2030, more than 20 percent of U.S. residents are projected to be age 65 and over, compared with 13 percent in 2010.
Areas of RN growth
We know that the elderly population typically has a high acuity level, underscoring the need for nurses with knowledge, skill and expertise, especially in the inpatient setting. All acute patients rightly expect quality care in their hospitals, with highly skilled nurses.
In the primary and preventive care setting there is a growing demand for nurses in the field of chronic disease management. There is already a shortage of primary care providers in New York State and around the country. For example, hospitals and federally qualified health centers are experiencing difficulty in hiring psychiatric nurse practitioners
NYSNA’s attention to issues of recruitment and retention of nurses is central to all our campaigns. Who else can mentor the young nurses we encourage and support?
NYSNA’s specific efforts
Here is a short list of some of the specific efforts undertaken by NYSNA to help meet nursing demand and advance nurses’ skills.
- applied for and received NYS DOH Health Workforce Retraining Initiative (HWRI) grant funding and undertook a program in 2017-18 to train nurses to work in an outpatient psychiatric mental health setting to become board certified in psychiatric mental health nursing, culminating in close to 100 nurses certified through these efforts.
- applied for and received grant funding through the NYS DOH HWRI for nurses to become psychiatric mental health NPs and adult gerontology NPs in 2019 – 20 in order to address the shortage of nurses in New York City in these fields. NYSNA plans to continue this program.
- received grant funding through NYS DOH HWRI for nurses to receive BSNs. This grant spans 2019 – 2020. NYSNA plans to broaden this program.
- provides to its members certification review courses in over 25 nursing specialties in order to help prepare nurses to become board certified in the specialty areas in which they work. These programs are free to NYSNA members.
- negotiated collective bargaining agreements that include differentials for higher education and board certification. Collective bargaining agreements have tuition and continuing education course reimbursement to offset the cost of tuition and continuing education.
- has also negotiated paid time off in many of their CBAs in order for nurses to attend continuing education programs and higher education courses.
- provides additional continuing education programs for nurses and nurse practitioners in order to meet patient needs.
- negotiated collective bargaining agreements with recruitment and retention of nurses in mind in all healthcare settings.
- awards the Secor Scholarship for a family member of a NYSNA member to become a nurse or for NYSNA members to advance their degrees.
More than anything, NYSNA works with members to best advocate for patients from issues on their units to community outreach, to understanding the social determinants of health. NYSNA nurses will be present, engaged and active.