Support New York State Nurses
As a constituent who cares deeply about quality health care services in our state, I urge you to include funding to bolster the state's nursing recruitment and retention programs and reject the interstate nursing licensing compact in your one house budget proposal.
Nurses in hospitals, schools and in home care settings face significant challenges. Some of these include: simultaneously caring for many patients; working in a stressful, fast-paced yet extremely detail-oriented environment; maintaining a demanding schedule; potential exposure to myriad illnesses; and maintaining a healthy work-life-balance. Even the process of becoming a nurse can be stressful and many nursing candidates face barriers to entering the profession in the first place. Between limited access to nursing programs — caused by a shortage of nursing school faculty, the demanding curriculum and cost of nursing programs, many would-be nurses are unable to access and afford nursing programs.
The growing aging population, the demands of the profession and retirements are only part of the reason our state is facing a nursing shortage. Nurse burnout, caused in-part by the COVID-19 pandemic, has caused many nurses to leave the profession.
To reverse this trend, I call on you to bolster the states recruitment and retention efforts as a way to preserve and expand the number of nurses in hospitals, schools and in home care settings. Specifically, I urge you and your colleagues to advocate for funding in this year's budget to provide once again $3 million for the Nurses Across New York program and $6 million for the Senator Patricia K. McGee Nursing Faculty Scholarship Program.
While these short- and long-term investments will allow the state to address the nursing shortage we are currently facing, the executive budget contains a proposal that would result in a lower professional nursing standard for those seeking care in our state. By joining the Interstate Nursing Licensure Compact (INLC) — a nongovernmental, private, non-regulatory entity that allows any nurse from a compact state to practice in New York without the need to obtain a New York state nursing license — we threaten the delivery of high-quality health care services to patients throughout our state. Inconsistencies between New York state licensure standards and any other participating INLC states can be tragically unsafe for patients and highly frustrating for New York state licensed nurses who may have to work with out-of-state INLC nurses who are undertrained or unfamiliar with our standards.
In addition, New York state would lose the revenue it normally receives from annual state licensing fees to the INLC who collect a percentage or the full amount of the New York state annual licensing fee.
Accordingly, I ask that you continue your investment in New York state nurses by incentivizing existing nurses to remain in the profession and pursue all options to attract the next generation of caregivers. The failure to address and prevent turnover in the nursing profession will have a dire impact on patients’ safety and the quality of care to all patients. I also urge you to reject the harmful Interstate Nurse Licensure Compact proposal contained in the 2023-24 executive budget.
I respectfully ask that you bring up these issues with your conference and advocate for nurses and their patients in the enacted budget.