As frontline workers during COVID-19, nurses across New York State put their own lives at risk to care for New Yorkers. Now we are seeing the health risks, stress, and burnout caused by the pandemic resulting in 1 in 5 health-care workers across the country leaving their jobs.
By 2030, New York alone is estimated to have a shortage of 39,000 registered nurses. From major hospitals to local community hospitals, New York’s health care systems continue to be understaffed and overworked as they help keep New Yorkers safe and healthy.
During COVID, the community responded by showing appreciation to nurses, recognizing them as heroes, even banging pots and pans during the shift change each night. But even though hospitalizations are down due to COVID, this National Nurses Week is an opportunity for the Foundation to highlight that nurses are still doing heroic work and deserve not just our appreciation, but our support.
Le Moyne College
One organization dedicated to supporting nurses is Le Moyne College in Syracuse, which in addition to traditional college pathways, provides educational pathway programs for low income and underserved members of the Syracuse community. Recognizing that New Yorkers tend to receive better quality care when health professionals mirror the ethnic, racial, and linguistic backgrounds of their patients, Le Moyne provides scholarships for its nursing program to a diverse student body. The Foundation awarded Le Moyne with a grant of $400,000 to expand its scholarship program and reduce health disparities among high poverty populations in Central New York through a more diverse healthcare workforce. This year’s Cabrini Scholars, Dominique Cimini, Lilianna Oswald, and Tiara Williams are each able to pursue their nursing dreams without the burden of financial hardship.
Nascentia Health has been delivering home health care and community-based services throughout New York for over 130 years. Nascentia provides care and resources to vulnerable populations, including high risk infants, children and youth, people with special needs, and older adults. The Foundation granted Nascentia Health $300,000 for a new Home Care Nurse Residency Program to meet the growing need in CNY for home health care. By integrating into the curriculum the importance, assessment, and management of social determinants of health, this residency not only meets a need, but better prepares nurses to help achieve health equity. The inaugural cohort will include 10 candidates who are providing over 3,000 home care visits in 2022.
St. John Fisher College (Fisher)
In Rochester, Fisher Nursing and Pharmacy students are prepared to serve vulnerable populations with a wide range of healthcare needs. Through completion of clinics in local practice settings serving refugees, seniors, uninsured, and low-income populations, the students — 80% of whom remain in Rochester following graduation — are prepared to meet the needs of the Rochester community. To support Fisher’s efforts, the Foundation awarded a grant of $500,000 to help create a robust Interprofessional Simulation Center, a collaborative laboratory designed to mirror healthcare practice settings. Access to such programming will promote a high level of experiential learning and interprofessional education for Nursing and Pharmacy students to improve the health and wellbeing of vulnerable individuals across a wide range of healthcare settings.
Nurses are on the front lines of health equity. They are heroes, and this National Nurses Week we reiterate our support for programs across New York that help to meet the growing need for well-trained nurses who understand the needs of and help create better health outcomes for vulnerable New Yorkers.
To learn more about these local organizations or how you can support them, you can find their websites below: