Training tomorrow’s healthcare workforce

NYSNA’s Training and Upgrading Fund turned two years old in July and is already expanding to provide even more training opportunities for members.

NYSNA members won the unique nurse-managed and employer-paid fund in our most recent contract with NYC Health + Hospitals. The employer contributes a percentage of gross payroll for members to access tuition reimbursement as well as CEU, RN to BSN, certification, and preceptor programs.

CarolLynn Esposito, Ed.D., JD, MS, RN, and NYSNA’s Director of Nursing Education and Practice explained how the fund managed to expand so quickly: “With the Department of Health’s emphasis on community-based healthcare, we saw a chance to secure a workforce retraining grant. We partnered with the well-established 1199SEIU Training and Upgrading Fund and applied for funding to train Nurse Practitioners.”

Public agency partnership

The grant is in the final stages of review and approval and once issued will pay for 12 RNs to attend CUNY’s Hunter College to become NPs in two high-need areas: geriatrics and psychiatry/behavioral health. “It was written to emphasize the partnership between the city’s public education and public health systems — working together to train public healthcare professionals that will serve the public good,” said Dr. Esposito. Applicants underwent a special vetting process and had to win acceptance to Hunter on their own merits.

While awaiting final word on the grant, some nurses have pushed ahead and started the training. Michelle Pean, an RN enrolled in the psychiatric/behavioral health NP program, said, “this is what I was looking for to further my career. I am so happy and grateful for this opportunity.”

Kadean Brooks, one of the RNs enrolled in Hunter’s adult gerontological NP program, said, “I am blessed and happy that I can further my education. I hope this can be afforded more nurses in the future.”

Dr. Esposito said the Fund will keep looking for additional grant opportunities to bring training to members in more facilities. In the meantime, any NYC H + H nurse can apply to the Training Fund for up to $3,000 a year in tuition reimbursement expenses.

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