Photo: Edwin Martinez / Impremedia
The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the urgent need for more nurses and health workers at dozens of hospitals across New York State. And as a way to contribute to the growth of that labor force, the Governor Kathy Hochul, revealed a scholarship program, which seeks to guarantee the preparation of 1,000 additional hospital employees.
In moments when they are esteemed more than 9,300 vacancies in hospital posts in New York, the state president announced that the State wants to facilitate the training of students who cannot pay for their higher education, through the ‘Nurses for the future’ program, where they will have paid tuition in SUNY or CUNY universitiesstarting in the fall.
The initiative seeks to recruit and retrain nursing professionals and medical care to become New York registered nurses.
“Nurses have always been invaluable to the health care systembut during the pandemic they showed time and time again how far they were willing to go to protect New Yorkers and save lives,” said Governor Hochul. “New York is proud of our nurses, and this scholarship will go a long way in strengthening the workforce with individuals who are ready to begin their education and training.”
The commissioner of State Health, Mary T. Bassettnoted that the training program will also help meet the needs of more nurses in New York.
“Nurses are the cornerstone of healthcare and have become vital first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. This scholarship program will ensure that New York State is equipped with the best and brightest professionals from SUNY and CUNY,” she said.
The president of the New York State Nurses Association, Nancy Haganswho has highlighted the need to fill existing vacancies in New York hospitals, warned that the quality of hospital care depends on having enough nurses to care for patients.
“The Nurses for Our Future scholarship program will help attract and train more nurses to help staff New York’s health care facilities more safely,” said the nurses’ union leader. “Investing in the nursing workforce is now part of the solution to providing quality care. for all New Yorkers in the future.”
The President of the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, William Linarescongratulated the winners of the Scholarship Program who will start studying in September and said that it will serve to balance the demand for clinical personnel.
“Nurses have been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic for the past two years, and now more than ever we need a strong supply of trained and talented nurses,” Linares said.
CUNY Chancellor, Felix Matos Rodriguezexplained that among the beneficiaries of the program, more than 50 undergraduate, graduate and certificate students will join those schools to obtain an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree.
“Nursing programs in 14 CUNY campuses proudly educate to medical professionals who care for New Yorkers. Thousands of CUNY graduates and students have served on the front lines of New York’s COVID battle, and we stand ready to continue doing our part to address the great need in the state.” Matos said.
The scholarships were awarded to New York State licensed nurses pursuing a BSN, state residents seeking a registered degree, and out-of-state licensed nurses relocating to and working in New York.