New York State Department of Health Honors 350,000 Nurses in Observance of National Nurses Week, May 6 – 12

Workforce Innovation Center supports health care workforce needs

NANY Loan Repayment Program addresses nursing workforce shortage

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 10, 2023) – The New York State Department of Health today announced the observance of National Nurses Month and National Nurses Week, May 6-12, 2023. Additionally, Governor Kathy Hochul has issued a proclamation honoring New York's nurses for their dedication to patient care. The Empire State has more than 350,000 nurses working as registered professional nurses, licensed practical nurses, clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives across all healthcare settings statewide to ensure the best health outcomes for patients. The American Nurses Association (ANA) chose "You Make a Difference" as this year's National Nurses Month theme to honor the varying roles of nurses and their positive impact on our lives.

"We salute New York State's nurses for their unparalleled impact on healthcare and for their commitment to improving the health of their patients and communities," Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said."Nurses provide critical care during patient's most vulnerable moments, respond relentlessly to public health crises, and provide guidance and support to families in need. We thank you for protecting the health of New Yorkers."

With New York projected to face a shortage of almost 40,000 nurses by 2030, New York State is taking steps to attract new professionals to join the field and to honor nurses currently working in the field.

To address the projected shortage, the Department created the New York State Nurses Across New York (NANY) Loan Repayment Program, designed to help train and place registered professional nurses (RN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN) in underserved communities, in a variety of settings and specialties, to care for New York's diverse population.

The NANY Loan Repayment Program makes funds available to help recruit RNs and LPNs and encourage them to remain in medically underserved areas of the state. Funding is provided in exchange for a nurse's commitment to work in an underserved area for a three-year period (NANY service obligation period).

Funding in the Enacted Fiscal Year 2023 New York State Budget allowed the Department to create a Workforce Innovation Center to support long-term health care workforce needs. The Center is developing an information and data-gathering strategy to inform policy recommendations that includes:

  • Meeting with key stakeholders to collect data and information.
  • Conducting research on policy as well as innovative approaches to educate, train, recruit and retain the New York State health care workforce.
  • Administering grants to support the training capacity of health care institutions and financial relief for students in health care programs.

This work builds upon the state's ongoing efforts to bolster the New York's health infrastructure through key initiatives, with the goal of increasing the state's health care workforce by 20 percent over the next four years.

The American Nurses Association's celebration of National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale's birthday. Nightingale was the founder of modern nursing and is credited with expanding roles for women in the workforce.

For more information about National Nurses Week please visit here.