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New York Nursing Graduation Rates on the Rise but Programs at Full Capacity, Reports UAlbany's Center for Health Workforce Studies
Lack of faculty causes qualified applicants to be turned away, New York still expected to face RN shortages

Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 25, 2005) -- Registered nursing graduation rates continue to climb in New York State, but many programs are at full capacity, according to a report released by the University at Albany's Center for Health Workforce Studies. RN graduations increased in both 2003 and 2004, following seven consecutive years of decline. While the number of RN graduates in 2004 was significantly higher than 2002, the number of RN graduates in 2004 is still 18 percent lower than in 1996, when in New York State the number of RN graduates was at an all-time high.

The center estimates that nursing education programs in New York State will need to produce more than 9,300 RNs per year to meet anticipated demand. In 2004, only 6,296 RNs graduated from programs in New York. "While increased enrollments in RN education programs and renewed interest in nursing as a career have fueled an increase in nursing graduations, RN production in New York must increase beyond currently projected levels to avert future shortages," said center director Jean M. Moore.

The study found that the number of nursing education programs that reported turning away qualified applicants increased by 13 percent between 2003 and 2004. Additionally, the number of programs that reported turning away at least 41 qualified applicants more than doubled, from only 11 percent of programs in 2003 to 23 percent of programs in 2004.

"Health Resources and Services Administration's National Center for Health Workforce Analysis estimates that New York will experience a projected shortage of over 17,000 RNs by 2010. Nursing education programs will have to produce more graduates in order to keep pace with anticipated demand for RNs," continued Moore. "Since programs are currently at capacity, the problem of recruiting and retaining faculty must be addressed so that no qualified applicant is turned away." Inadequate classroom and laboratory space and an insufficient number of clinical training sites must also be addressed in order to accommodate more entrants in registered nursing programs.

For more information, visit the Center for Health Workforce studies at


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