For Immediate Release
Contact: Nancy Webber, 518.782.9400, Ext. 223
Latham, NY – Jan. 31, 2007 – Registered nurses today expressed concern about $1.2 billion in healthcare cuts proposed by Gov. Eliot Spitzer in his executive budget.
“This will have a major impact on our already fragile healthcare system,” said Tina Gerardi, RN, Interim Executive Director of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA). “Fewer resources for providers will reduce patients’ access to needed healthcare services. Plus, we know that nearly one quarter of RNs are considering leaving the profession because of understaffing and stress. These cuts, combined with the downsizing proposed by the Berger Commission, will accelerate their departure.”
Gerardi applauded Gov. Spitzer’s plan to expand coverage under Child Health Plus and his call for greater accountability in the spending of healthcare funds.
“Nurses are disappointed, however, that there are no funds directed toward ending the state’s nursing shortage, which is entering its ninth year,” she said. “Despite increased nursing school enrollments and more RNs becoming licensed, New York is not keeping up with the projected demand for more than 6,300 registered nurses every year between now and 2014.”
Gerardi said NYSNA members will urge legislators to reject healthcare spending cuts and to finance comprehensive scholarship programs for both basic nursing students and nursing faculty.
With more than 34,000 members, NYSNA is the oldest and largest state nurses’ association in the nation. It is an influential union for RNs, representing nurses in New York and New Jersey. Offering a wide range of services to its members, NYSNA fosters high standards of nursing education and practice and works to advance the profession through legislative activity. It is a constituent of the American Nurses Association and of the United American Nurses, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.
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