zuma - I hope you sent off a copy of that letter to your elected officials & whoever is supporting & sponsoring that bill in the legislature. I dont know why theyre missing the message but fortunately, many of our legislators are "getting it".
Below are just some of the Assembly's April 23 statements on the nursing shortage during a recent news conference:
60th Assembly District
Assemblyman Mirones Urges Passage Of Legislation To Stem Nursing Shortage
Assemblyman: Assembly must push bills through Health Committee today
April 24, 2002
Assemblyman Matthew Mirones (R-Staten Island) today joined his Assembly minority colleagues at a news conference announcing legislation aimed at addressing New York's nursing shortage crisis.
"These two bills will go a long way in helping New York recruit individuals into the profession of nursing as well as help retain experienced nurses who are currently leaving the profession because they are under-appreciated and underpaid," Mirones said. "New Yorkers whose sickness requires them to spend time in a hospital should be free to concentrate solely on getting better, not worrying about the quality of their health care. That is exactly why Speaker Silver and the Assembly majority must join us in pushing these bills through committee so they can be voted on by the full Assembly."
The two bills that will be taken up in the Assembly Health Committee today are part of an eight-bill package that would establish a block grant for hospital nursing care to encourage salary and benefit enhancements for nurses (A.9729), and create the Empire State Professional Nursing Scholarship
Program to provide grants for nursing education up to $15,000 per year (A.7470).
According to Mirones, the Assembly minority convened the Nursing Shortage Task Force last year to examine the reasons for the shortage and to recommend solutions. The task force gathered information on the shortage from a series of statewide forums involving nurses, administrators, educators and labor leaders. From that information, the task force issued a report, "Resolving New York's Nursing Shortage: Recommendations for Addressing the Nursing Shortage in New York State."
Assemblyman Mirones said that during the hearings, the task force learned that hospitals have to cancel scheduled surgeries and divert ambulances to other hospitals, nursing homes have had to close down beds, and patients are receiving less-than-optimal care due to the shortage of nurses.
"For far too long our state has neglected these vital professionals who have cared for our loved ones so they could get back to living full lives," Mirones said. "It's time we took the necessary steps to compensate and acknowledge these health care providers for their hard work, by passing this legislation which ensures more of our nurses will be properly paid and utilized."
The Assembly minority has introduced bills to advance the recommendations of the task force's report, including: restricting mandatory overtime, providing income tax credits, creating tuition-free educational opportunities, providing nursing recruitment and retention incentives, establishing loan forgiveness programs, and baccalaureate and associate nursing assistance programs.>>