New York is short on nursing staff, and the need continues to grow. We experienced huge issues with this problem during the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Kathy Hochul recognized the issue and eased licensure requirements to help get experienced nursing staff into the state’s healthcare system through an executive order.
Now that the worst of the pandemic is over and the executive order has expired, healthcare workers and prospective nurses are wondering what options remain. Thankfully, Gov. Hochul and lawmakers throughout the state have made progress on two new laws to help address this issue.
Law #1: The ability to transfer out-of-state nursing licensure into New York.
Unfortunately, the time it takes to get a nursing license application approved and moved through the system is relatively long in New York. Previous laws barred nurses from practicing while waiting for official approval, even when they had an active license in another state.
Gov. Hochul singed a proposal into law earlier this month that provides nurses currently practicing under the aforementioned executive order and have applied for but not yet received their license to continue within their field. They now have an additional 180 days to receive approval.
Law #2: Updates to nursing training programs.
Nursing programs in New York are turning away qualified applicants because they do not have the resources to provide training. A move by Gov. Hochul will help allow these programs to take in these prospective nursing students without jeopardizing their education. The governor achieved this goal when she signed a proposal into law that allows nurses to complete a portion of their training using simulations.
Using simulations provides increased flexibility when transitioning into the clinical education setting. The simulations do not replace clinical education. Nurses are still required to complete 2/3 of their clinical education within a healthcare setting and 1/3 using simulations. The shift reduces the man force needed within the program to train these students and should result in an increased nursing staff within the next few years.
Attorney John Rivas is responsible for this communication.