Amid a shortage of nurses and staffing issues at hospitals throughout the State of New York, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara announced new legislation he has introduced in the State Assembly that would waive fees required by the state to obtain or renew a nurses license until the end of 2024.
According to hospital leaders throughout the state, and many news sources, hospitals have had issues with ensuring proper staffing. This is especially true in Upstate New York, where the percentage of available beds last week hovered between 6% and 11% -- far below the statewide average. These shortages cause a risk to public health and have required hospitals to send patients to other hospitals, sometimes hundreds of miles away.
Currently, fees required by the state to apply for a license to be a nurse, or to renew a license, can cost hundreds of dollars. This legislation will seek to take away financial barriers from those seeking to enter or remain in the nursing profession during these times of rising inflation and allow for a larger pool of qualified nurses throughout the State of New York.
“Nurses have stepped up to the plate to serve our communities, and now it is time for our state government to step up for them. Anyone seeking to enter the nursing profession, or remain in the nursing profession, should not be forced to pay hundreds of dollars in fees. My legislation will remove these financial barriers and allow these frontline heroes to save more of their hard-earned money,” said Santabarbara.
“With hospital staffing shortages across the state, but especially here in Upstate New York, we need to do everything we can to support nurses in our communities and make sure we remove barriers to entering this noble profession,” Santabarbara said.