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Cuomo gives healthcare workers an educational boost

On January 10, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced legislation to grant New York nurses and nursing candidates priority access to CUNY and SUNY programs, beginning in Fall of 2021, providing them priority admission to all SUNY and CUNY programs across the State to fulfill baccalaureate credentials and continue practicing. 

This statute is being deemed necessary due to legislation, “BSN in 10” which Cuomo signed in 2017, requiring all nurses with a completed Associate Degree in New York State to additionally complete a Baccalaureate of Science Degree in Nursing within 10 years of becoming a nurse if they want to maintain licensure by the State. SUNY and CUNY have pledged to work with campuses in order to enable priority access for eligible nursing candidates. “They had our back, now we must have theirs,” Governor Cuomo said. “We’re giving these COVID heroes priority to the greatest university system in the world, to complete their degrees and continue to do what they have done best throughout this pandemic: keep us all safe.” 

This proposal will assist an estimated 40,000 nurses and nursing candidates who are lawfully obligated to earn their baccalaureate credentials and afford access to an in-state quality college education at an affordable cost. 

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras gave his opinion on Cuomo’s proposal “Within the darkest moments caused by this pandemic, our healthcare professionals have been an inspiration to us all for their heroic and selfless efforts as they provide life-saving care,” He added, “This is especially true of our nurses who are the heartbeat of healthcare. Governor Cuomo’s proposal to provide priority access for New York’s licensed nurses is exactly what we need to strengthen and protect our healthcare system. SUNY stands ready to meet the Governor’s challenge.”

CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez also praised Governor Cuomo’s proposal by stating, “We all owe a debt of gratitude to the selfless health care workers who throughout this terrifying pandemic have saved the lives of countless of our family members, friends and neighbors while courageously risking their own. The nurses on the frontlines have been nothing short of heroic in the fight against the deadly COVID-19 virus. Governor Cuomo’s proposal will enable these brave professionals to complete their studies at first-class institutions and continue their life-saving work.” 

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