Gov. Hochul Announces SUNY & CUNY Scholarship Program to Cover Tuition for 1,000 New Registered Nurses

(Photo Source: governor.ny.gov).

Press release from governor.ny.gov.

Governor Kathy Hochul today, at a breakfast hosted by the Association for a Better New York, announced a State University of New York and City University of New York Scholarship Program called the Nurses For Our Future Scholarship that will cover tuition for 1,000 new healthcare workers to get RNs at SUNY and CUNY. The program comes in an effort to help address the shortage in healthcare and lack of workers in hospitals around the state.

“Just a year ago, we were celebrating our healthcare workers as the heroes they are, and the pandemic has shown us that we cannot afford a labor shortage in the healthcare industry,” Governor Hochul said. “I’m proud to announce our new Nurses For Our Future Scholarship as an important step to train more nurses and bring them into our healthcare system. SUNY and CUNY scholarships move us toward a more prosperous and equal New York, by working to make sure every New Yorker has access to training programs, one-, two-, and four-year degrees, community college; SUNY and CUNY should be the pathway to the middle class.”

Since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, hospitals have been facing a labor shortage and a massive influx of patients. This scholarship program is designed to recruit and retrain nursing and health care professionals to serve in NYSRNs which are most in need. There are currently more than 9,300 openings for Registered Nurses in New York State. The Nurses For Our Future Scholarship will mean 1,000 more students can enter a nursing program in either SUNY or CUNY. Students will be able to complete their programs with a flexible schedule, either part-time or full-time.

This effort will incentivize New York State residents active in the health care field to upskill their career path and advance their education through the SUNY or CUNY system.

In addition, the New York State Department of Labor will help market these new opportunities to existing and unemployed workers, including opportunities available through regional SUNY Educational Opportunity Centers for entry-level nurse certifications in high demand including Certified Nursing Assistant, Licensed Practical Nurse and Nursing Home Aide.

Job Search Assistance 

The New York State Job Bank features nearly 220,000 jobs available today in New York State and users can search by keyword, zip code and browse by job title and company name. By using the JobZone job search and career development tool, individuals can plan their future, organize their job search, develop resumes and explore careers.

The Department of Labor also hosts daily live virtual workshops and webinars on relevant topics for job seekers in all industries, like resume writing, job search and interviewing techniques. The agency partners with hundreds of businesses to host Virtual Career Fairs where job seekers can engage with businesses in a job fair setting, browse their available jobs and connect directly with businesses hiring to ask questions, all without leaving home.

For those looking to work part-time, the state has a part-time hiring opportunities job bank listing nearly 30,000 part-time jobs available now in New York State sorted by location, job title and company that can also be searched by keyword.

Businesses can use the Department of Labor to access millions of potential job seekers through no-cost programs and services. They can post jobs on the NYS Job Bank through direct indexing from an existing website or post with staff assistance and can get direct access to the NYS Talent Bank with millions of qualified job seekers to meet their hiring needs. They can also sign up to take part in upcoming career fairs or learn about available tax credits and other hiring incentives.

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said, “With more than 70 nursing programs spanning every degree from LPN to BSN and that are found in every corner of New York State as well as online, SUNY stands ready to meet the growing demand for nurses who are the heartbeat of healthcare. We thank Governor Hochul for her leadership by offering this scholarship incentive to those aspiring to join this noble calling, and for including the option to attend college part time or full time, giving our students the flexibility to manage their education and life responsibilities. SUNY, the largest comprehensive system of higher education, is ready to meet the challenge.”

CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said, “The pandemic has put a sharp focus on the need to increase treatment capacity across our health care system, and expanding the pipeline of diverse, skilled registered nurses is a key component of that proposition. This timely scholarship program will allow more New Yorkers to enroll in CUNY’s quality nursing programs and build rewarding, well-paying careers in a field in which they are greatly needed. CUNY is committed to training the next generation of nursing professionals, and we thank Governor Hochul for her continued support.”

New York State Nurses Association Executive Director Pat Kane, RN, said, “Nobody has put more on the line than those of us on the front line during this pandemic, and Governor Hochul’s visionary investment in helping us rebuild our nursing ranks is exactly the kind of support we need to keep delivering the care New Yorkers rely on. Because the best care is also culturally responsive care, these 1,000 scholarships present an enormous opportunity for us to continue to recruit from all communities around the state, and by seeding them at SUNY and CUNY, they also strengthen our public higher education institutions, making it clear that Governor Hochul is prioritizing our healthcare workers and our young people – exactly the type of priorities we need to bring New York back.”

Assemblymember Richard Gottfried said, “Adequate staffing is critical to health care access and quality. The COVID pandemic shined a light on existing worker shortages, and demand will only increase as our population ages. I commend Governor Hochul for this important initiative and look forward to further programs to train the health care workers we need.”

Healthcare Association of New York State President Bea Grause, RN, JD said,”It is critically important that we bolster our healthcare workforce pipeline as quickly as possible. I thank Governor Hochul for taking this much needed action to remove financial barriers that could prevent potential nurses of the future from getting the education and training they desire. Today’s action is a step toward making sure we have the caregivers New York’s communities will greatly need in the years to come.”

Greater New York Hospital Association President Kenneth E. Raske said, “Governor Hochul is a staunch health care workforce advocate who understands that the hospital community’s staffing challenges require bold action. This much-needed scholarship program to cover tuition costs for 1,000 new registered nurses will help alleviate nurse staffing shortages and ensure a reliable pipeline of well trained nurses. We are grateful for Governor Hochul’s leadership and vision on this important issue.”

This announcement follows the recent opening of Binghamton University’s Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences, affirming Governor Hochul’s dedication to expanding healthcare education and New York State’s nursing workforce. SUNY colleges and universities across New York offer more than 70 fully accredited nursing degree undergraduate and graduate programs, offering 17 different credentials in nursing from home health aide to doctoral and advanced certificates. SUNY students graduate prepared to enter the healthcare field following rigorous course work online or in the classroom, combined with required hands-on real-world experience. CUNY graduates 1,800 students each year from over 50 nursing advanced credit-bearing certificate and degree programs, including LPN, Associate, Bachelor, Master and Doctoral programs (DNP and Ph.D.) at 14 CUNY institutions, including nursing programs at both senior and community colleges. CUNY’s nursing programs are united in their commitment to expanding opportunity and advancement in the health-care field, and to training the next generation of nursing professionals to provide high-quality and equitable health care, particularly for the most vulnerable and underserved populations.