Incentives help answer call for nursing faculty

ALBANY—New York has substantially fewer registered nurses per capita than the national average, according to the Center for Health Workforce Studies.
   In 10 years, the state will need more than 100,000 additional nurses to provide quality care.
   Underpinning the problem is a shortage of space and qualified faculty at nursing schools, limiting the admission of new students, according to a new report released by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
   “My plan will deliver the right mix of incentives and resources to make sure every corner of New York has the nurses we need to provide quality health care to our children and families over the next decade,” Senator Gillibrand said in a press release.
   The state currently offers two incentives to encourage nurses to begin or continue careers as teachers at nursing schools across the state: the Nursing Faculty Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program and the Senator Patricia K. McGee Nursing Faculty Scholarship Program.
   Both nursing faculty incentive programs are administered by the state Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC), the state’s student financial aid agency that helps people pay for college.
   The loan forgiveness program provides annual awards to licensed registered nurses, who hold a graduate degree and who teach in the field of nursing. Last year, HESC awarded $275,000 to 40 program recipients.
   The maximum individual award under this loan forgiveness program is the lesser of the applicant’s actual eligible student loan amount at the time his or her eligibility was established, or $40,000, paid in $8,000 increments for each annual period of completed qualified service.
   In general, an applicant must be a registered nurse professionally licensed to practice in the state, possess a master’s degree in nursing or a doctoral degree qualifying them as nursing or adjunct clinical faculty, and have an outstanding balance on an eligible student loan.
   Complete program requirements are available on HESC’s Web site at www.hesc.org [1]. Applications for the 2008 qualifying year will be available on the HESC web site by August 1.
   The Senator McGee Scholarship provides competitive awards to licensed nurses who have been accepted in a master’s nursing program at an accredited nursing school in the state.
   Applicants must agree to become nursing faculty and teach at a facility in the state.
   Payments are available for up to three years of study. Applications for the 2010-11 academic year will be available in April 2010.

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