ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — According to the state, there are around 9,300 openings for registered nurses. To help fill those openings, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced the “Nurses for Our Future Scholarship” program. The program will cover tuition for 1,000 new health care workers at SUNY and CUNY schools.

“I’m taking an action today to announce we will be funding the education of 1,000 New Yorkers to make sure they are trained as nurses and get them in our system as soon as possible,” Gov. Hochul announced. In a press release, the governor’s office says the program addresses the shortage of healthcare workers, in particular, nurses.

In a similar effort to increase the number of new nurses in the state, the State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras announced a $3 million SUNY Nursing Emergency Training Fund to allow more students to enroll in nursing programs. Chancellor Malatras says the fund is a targeted approach to get more people trained as quickly as possible.

“What we’re finding is, we have people applying to programs, but some of our campuses are turning people away because we do not have enough people to instruct incoming nursing students,” the chancellor says, “we do not have enough clinical space to teach people. So we are treating this as an emergency situation because it is. We want to meet the workforce demands so that is what this program is all about.” 

To get more nurses in the system, the chancellor says the funds can be used to purchase new technology, hire more instructors, and ultimately, increase SUNY’s nursing program enrollment from its average of around 13,000.

“More nurses are coming out of the system so the demand is greater. So we can’t keep up with the status quo of 13 and a half, 14 thousand people. We need to lift that to 17,000. 18,000. 19,000 in order to meet this critical workforce demand,” Malatras says.

According to the American Journal of Medical Quality, there will be a shortage of more than 39,000 registered nurses in New York State by 2030. With the implementation of these new programs, the state is hoping that number never becomes a reality.