New York State Legislature Passes Legislation to Address New York’s Critical Nursing Shortage

News Date: 3/27/2023

Historic Collaboration Between Independent and Public Higher Education Sectors and the State Education Department

ALBANY, NY (March 27, 2023) – The New York State Senate and Assembly have passed legislation that will help address New York’s nursing shortage. S.447C (Stavisky) / A.3706A (Lupardo) will permit nursing programs to provide up to one-third of a student’s clinical work in a high-tech simulation environment.

New York is projected to face a shortage of almost 40,000 nurses by 2030. Nursing programs across New York are ready to educate the next generation of nurses to resolve this shortage, but they face a major obstacle: a lack of quality clinical placements in hospital settings that nurses must complete before receiving their license. These programs are turning away qualified applicants because of the shortage of clinical training placements. Without enough high-quality clinical placements, nursing programs across the state cannot expand to meet the demand from prospective students to fill the state’s nursing needs. 

Permitting nursing programs to utilize simulation-based clinical education for one-third of clinical hours will enable nursing students to receive the training they need and nursing programs to expand to meet demand.

The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), which represents New York’s 100+ private, nonprofit colleges and universities, the City University of New York (CUNY), and the State University of New York (SUNY) worked in partnership with the NYS Legislature and the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to draft this critical legislation.

"This legislation is a significant step toward addressing New York's critical nursing shortage. I am grateful to the bill sponsors, Senator Stavisky and Assemblymember Lupardo, for their attention to this important issue. I also thank our partners at SUNY, CUNY, and the New York State Education Department for their collaboration on this legislation," said Lola W. Brabham, President of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities. "Private, nonprofit colleges and universities in New York educate 67 percent of nurses and stand ready to help the state meet its nursing workforce needs. This legislation will enable those programs to continue to provide world-class nursing education to New York's future healthcare heroes."

CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said: “CUNY graduates approximately 1,800 nurses per year – about half of all new nurses in New York City.  This legislation will assist CUNY with the challenges nursing programs face with student placements and provide a mechanism for expanding enrollment in nursing.  Nursing Simulation based learning is a nationally tested and proven model to deliver high quality education.”

SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. said, “New York faces a nursing shortage that threatens public health and limits workforce opportunity. SUNY strongly supports this important legislation to improve access to modern, high-quality clinical training so more students can complete their degree and become nurses -- including at the more than 70 nursing programs across SUNY campuses. My thanks to Senate Higher Education Chair Toby Ann Stavisky and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo for sponsoring this critical legislation and to Assembly Higher Education Chair Pat Fahy for helping to champion it—and not a moment too soon.”

Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said, “Nurses are dedicated, vital healthcare professionals who serve some of our most vulnerable populations. The Board of Regents is committed to doing everything it can to help assuage the nursing shortage that is gripping our healthcare system with policies to improve and enhance clinical education to prepare more future nurses for real-world, life-saving situations.”

New York State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa said, “Our first priority is always public protection. We worked closely with stakeholders on this important legislation to ensure that quality simulation experience in nursing education programs is clearly defined in order to prepare nursing students for safe, effective, entry-level practice. We are grateful to Senator Stavisky and Assemblymember Lupardo for their collaboration and willingness to ensure that clinical simulation is used appropriately and responsibly, giving our nurses the best education possible and prioritizing public safety.”

“New York is facing a nursing shortage,” said Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee. “This legislation will enable more qualified students to have access to a place in a nursing program by allowing nursing students to complete up to one-third of the clinical requirement through a simulation experience. These simulated experiences effectively replicate the experience a nurse will face in the field. It is an effective tool that will help New York train and license more qualified, quality nurses to help fill a growing and critical need.” 

“Now that our nursing simulation bill has passed through both Houses, I’m looking forward to the Governor signing it into law. I’d like to thank CICU, the Chancellors of both the SUNY and CUNY systems, SED, and my colleagues, for pushing it over the finish line. Allowing up to 1/3 of clinical training to be simulation based, will not only help address our nursing shortage it will also expose students to a very valuable learning experience,” said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, who introduced the legislation in the Assembly.

“New York will need to hire 30,000 nurses over the next 10 years just to fill current vacancies in our healthcare system,” said Assemblymember Patricia Fahy, Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee. “High-tech, simulated learning environments will help recruit and retain more nurses to meet demand, while maintaining standards and quality of care for patients across New York State. I commend Assemblymember Donna Lupardo for her work on this legislation the new Chair of the Higher Education Committee and look forward to following its impact on our nursing workforce and healthcare industry in the years to come.”

“New York’s nursing programs stand ready to fill the state’s serious shortage of nurses and this critical legislation will give us the flexibility to do that. The high-tech simulation education our nursing students receive ensures that they are well-prepared to succeed in a career in healthcare. We are grateful to the Legislature and the New York State Education Department for their collaboration on this important issue and we are proud to be a part of this game-changing legislation that will benefit the wellbeing of New Yorkers for years to come,” said D’Youville University President Lorrie Clemo.

“On behalf of Maria College, including our current and future students, I’d like to thank the State Legislature, especially Senator Stavisky, Assemblywoman Lupardo, Assemblymember Fahy, CICU, CUNY, SUNY, and NYSED for allowing New York’s nursing programs to utilize cutting-edge technology to train the new nurses that the state desperately needs,” said Maria College President Lynn Ortale, Ph.D. She added, “Having educated the most nurses in the area, Maria College is taking the charge of alleviating the nursing shortage. We know that this bill will help us graduate more-qualified nurses to enter the workforce, as it will allow students to use Maria's simulation technology towards clinical hours. These technologies help create more confident, practice-ready nurses that will provide compassionate health care to families in our community and beyond." 

Overseen by NYSED to ensure standards of high-quality simulation are maintained, simulated clinical settings feature realistic cases in which students must deliver healthcare to a simulated patient, reacting to the same data that they will use as professionals. Often, these scenarios expose students to cases and situations they may not otherwise experience in a clinical environment.  

A national study by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing showed that the substitution of clinical simulation for up to 50 percent of traditional clinical experiences was an effective model that ensured nursing students were fully prepared to enter their profession. Thirty-one states currently provide some level of simulated clinical training for nursing students, leveraging technology to provide hands-on learning in a safe environment while prioritizing patient safety. New York has joined them and not a moment too late. 

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About the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York: CICU is a statewide association representing the public policy interests of the chief executives of more than 100 independent nonprofit colleges and universities in New York State. Founded in 1956 by a small group of private, not-for-profit college and university presidents, the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) now represents 100+ independent campuses across New York State. Although not a government agency, CICU is an educational corporation formed under the New York State Regents. Its mission is to develop consensus among a diverse membership and to advance higher education public policy. Visit www.cicu.org to learn more.

About the City University of New York: CUNY is the nation’s largest urban public university, a transformative engine of social mobility that is a critical component of the lifeblood of New York City. Founded in 1847 as the nation’s first free public institution of higher education, CUNY today has seven community colleges, 11 senior colleges and seven graduate or professional institutions spread across New York City’s five boroughs, serving over 260,000 undergraduate and graduate students and awarding 55,000 degrees each year. CUNY’s mix of quality and affordability propels almost six times as many low-income students into the middle class and beyond as all the Ivy League colleges combined. More than 80 percent of the University’s graduates stay in New York, contributing to all aspects of the city’s economic, civic and cultural life and diversifying the city’s workforce in every sector. CUNY’s graduates and faculty have received many prestigious honors, including 13 Nobel Prizes and 26 MacArthur “Genius” Grants. The University’s historic mission continues to this day: provide a first-rate public education to all students, regardless of means or background. To learn more about CUNY, visit https://www.cuny.edu.

About the State University of New York: SUNY is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit www.suny.edu.