Health Care

Mother Cabrini Health Foundation to release report addressing statewide nursing shortage

The foundation will unveil the study at its upcoming Healthier Communities, Healthier People summit at the Museum of the City of New York, presented by City & State.

Participants in a nursing training program at Nascentia Health, a Mother Cabrini Foundation grantee.

Participants in a nursing training program at Nascentia Health, a Mother Cabrini Foundation grantee. Nascentia Health

A new report addressing challenges to statewide registered nursing recruitment and retention will be released at the Healthier Communities, Healthier People summit on Wednesday, hosted by the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation at the Museum of the City of New York and presented by City & State.

The study, prepared by Mother Cabrini in partnership with the University at Albany’s Center for Health Workforce Studies, will detail leading causes of nursing shortages and potential strategies to be implemented by New York state hospitals. Based on interviews and focus groups with chief nursing executives and human resource experts hailing from 60 hospitals, the analysis will identify the most promising solutions to address the shortage.

“This study is further evidence of the pervasive RN shortages and workplace culture challenges that are urgently impacting all aspects of health systems in New York – from staff experience and patient outcomes to the sustainability of hospitals,” said Jean Moore, director of the Center for Health Workforce Studies. “Conducting this research is necessary to identify key challenges and map out both short and long-term solutions that will support our RN workforce for years to come.”  

New York’s ongoing statewide shortage was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Registered nurse recruitment and retention have been hit the hardest across the state, especially in acute care hospitals. 

Among statewide efforts to alleviate this strain, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s The “Nurse of Tomorrow Act of 2024” aims to entice new nursing graduates by providing grants to hospitals and schools towards nurse recruitment, education and retention. Additionally, legislative incentives include “Nurses Across New York,” a loan repayment program for registered nurses and licensed practical nurses working in underserved areas across the state, and the inclusion of New York into the interstate licensure compact – allowing for out-of-state nursing hires at a premium. 

Despite these efforts, only 53% of actively licensed nurses in New York State are actively working as nurses, indicating that such shortages reflect poor working conditions, rather than the number of available workers, according to the New York State Nurses Association.

The Mother Cabrini study will also detail factors contributing to persistent registered nurse shortages, in addition to key priorities for strengthening recruitment and retention.

“In order to address New York’s long-term health needs, we need to offer consistent support to the RNs working tirelessly to serve patients,” said Msgr. Gregory Mustaciuolo, CEO of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. “The study is helping to inform how we can best support hospitals, so they can deliver high-quality care to those who need it most, especially New York’s medically underserved.”The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation will use the report’s findings to inform its grantmaking in the coming year, adding to the organization’s portfolio of nearly 2,700 grants, totaling more than $800 million to community-based organizations, healthcare providers, food banks, social service centers and more.