April 3, 2023

Simulation Labs Could Account For 30% Of NY Nursing Student Clinicals, Under New Bill

Simulation Labs Could Account For 30% Of NY Nursing Student Clinicals, Under New Bill

The New York state assembly passed legislation that would allow simulation lab time to account for up to 30% of their clinical training. The bill, designed to address the ongoing critical nursing shortage in New York, would essentially speed up the process of allowing qualified nurses to sit for the NCLEX. 

The bill, S447C/A3076A, now awaits action by Governor Kathy Hochul. If the bill is signed by June 2023, it would go into effect for the Spring 2024 semester. The bill was spearheaded by State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and Assemblymember Donna Lupardo. 

“New York is facing a nursing shortage,” said Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee. “This legislation will enable more qualified students to have access to a place in a nursing program by allowing nursing students to complete up to one-third of the clinical requirement through a simulation experience. These simulated experiences effectively replicate the experience a nurse will face in the field. It is an effective tool that will help New York train and license more qualified, quality nurses to help fill a growing and critical need. I thank Assemblymember Lupardo for sponsoring this legislation in the Assembly.”

Hospitals, specifically in Western New York, have been struggling with nursing recruitment and retention. First reported in 2022, hospitals tried everything to increase the number of nurses. Catholic Health and Kaleida Health even tried hiring more nurses within the community instead of travel nurses. 

"We have seen a decrease at Catholic health, not as far as we'd like to go. What we've done is we've had a massive recruitment effort over the last year or so, we've hired 2400 folks, around 516 nurses," said William B. Pryor, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer at Catholic Health.

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Prior to this bill, simulation lab time was limited when counting toward overall clinical hours and graduation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing schools were given some leniency because nursing students were not allowed in hospitals. Nursing students only had simulation labs. Once hospitals reopened their doors to nursing students, prelicensure nursing programs were no longer able to replace in-person clinical hours with lab simulation. 

Assemblymember Donna Lupardo said, “Now that our nursing simulation bill has passed through both Houses, I’m looking forward to the Governor signing it into law. I would like to thank Senator Stavisky, CICU, the Chancellors of both the SUNY and CUNY systems, SED, and my colleagues for pushing this over the finish line. Allowing up to one-third of clinical training to be simulation-based will not only help address our nursing shortage, but it will also expose students to a valuable, hands-on learning experience. I have witnessed these trainings first-hand at Binghamton University’s Decker College of Nursing and seen how realistic these state-of-the-art simulations can be.”


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