SUNY Empire State College will enhance nursing program to address the state and nation’s critical nursing shortage
The college has received a $245,580 grant from the SUNY system that is expected to boost enrollment in the college’s nursing program and help address the state and nation’s critical nursing shortage, officials said.
The funds are part of a $3 million SUNY Nursing Emergency Training Fund designed to enable more students to enroll in SUNY’s nursing programs. SUNY Empire will use the money to offset the initial cost of hiring a full-time faculty member and an operations coordinator in its nursing program.
The funding, which will be available July 1 after the state budget is approved, will enable the college to increase enrollment at the School of Nursing and Allied Health by 100 students.
In all, SUNY campuses have more than 70 accredited nursing programs. SUNY campuses were eligible to apply for funding of up to $250,000. The funding can be used in various ways, including curricula development, partnership expansion, and the purchase of instructional equipment and technology.
At SUNY Empire, most of the additional students are expected to come through the Multi-Award Nursing Program that SUNY Empire shares with Nassau Community College (NCC). NCC received $247,000 from the same SUNY funds to expand their nursing program.
SUNY Empire officials also expect more students to enroll through its RN to BSN transfer pathway program that the college has with SUNY Orange. Through that partnership, which was created last fall, nursing students have the option to seamlessly transfer to SUNY Empire’s BSN program after they obtain their associate degree.
The partnership provides scholarship options and allows the transfer of 63 credits earned at SUNY Orange to SUNY Empire, reducing the time to earn a degree and saving students money.
College officials said that across the country, the demand for nurses is increasing as Baby Boomers age. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for registered nurses is expected to grow 9 percent each year between 2020 and 2030. In New York, a report by the state Department of Health projected a shortage of 39,000 nurses by 2030.