Professional Development Program Retrains Registered Nurses to Address Forecasted Shortage
ALBANY, N.Y. (November 2, 2012) – To help alleviate an anticipated nursing shortage in New York state, the Professional Development Program (PDP) at the University at Albany has developed two new programs - the RN Training Project and the RN to BSN/MSN Training Program - designed to train and retrain health industry workers, respectively. The PDP, a center in UAlbany’s Rockefeller College, strives to improve the skills and knowledge of the public workforce through a variety of programming.
A $2.2 million state Health Department grant will be used to help alleviate a projected shortage of nurses, according to Eugene J. Monaco, executive director of the Professional Development Program, a center in UAlbany's Rockefeller College. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)
The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has awarded PDP a $2.2 million grant to support these critical nurse training projects.
The 2010 New York State Workforce Management Report indicates that the anticipated shortage of nurses is a national problem that is expected to grow as baby boomers age. Roughly half of the nurses employed by the state of New York are older than 47, with 25 percent age 55 or older and only 13 percent younger than age 35. During the recession, as private hospitals close, the state’s ability to recruit nurses has improved. However, the long-term forecast of a nursing shortage remains unchanged.
“The RN Training Grant from the DOH will help support training for new nurses so that there are sufficient qualified RNs to provide quality patient care,” said Eugene J. Monaco, executive director of PDP and a public service professor. “In addition, the education investment to retrain current nurses through the RN to BSN/MSN Training Grant will bolster our current workforce to address the complex healthcare needs of today, and in the future.”
The RN Training Project is intended to help bolster the field of qualified nurses. While federal grants and other tuition support programs help pay for the cost of tuition, many direct care workers cannot afford to pay for books and clinical supplies, which can sometimes cost more than $1,000 per year. Since this grant program can reimburse students for these costs in addition to tuition costs, more employees who work in participating health facilities may choose to pursue nursing and become RNs.
The objective of the RN to BSN/MSN Training Program is to encourage more nurses to obtain additional schooling. The program supplements the educational expenses of registered nurses currently employed in participating facilities, pursuing either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and/or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree.
According to Monaco, since its inception, the Health Workforce Retraining Initiative has awarded nearly $323 million to 462 grantees and trained or retrained more than 150,000 health care workers.