WENY News - New Law Requires Bachelors Degree for New York Nurses

New Law Requires Bachelors Degree for New York Nurses

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SAYRE, P.A. (WENY) -- The Empire State has raised the bar for students looking to become a registered nurse. Just a few weeks ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill requiring anyone looking to become a R-N to obtain a bachelors degree within ten years.

For local hospitals, the change means offering patients even more effective and qualified care.  

"Our patients these days are very complex," says Kate Mohr, System Chief Nursing Officer for Guthrie. "Making this about the patients--to have a well-prepared, professional nurse, you need that background to do that."

Guthrie Hospital staff say their nursing department has consistently encouraged employees to obtain that secondary degree.

To help make the process easier, the medical group offers tuition-assistance, either for current or incoming nurses.

"Although this is a change for New York state, we have been on the journey of encouraging our nurses to get back into school, complete their baccalaureate degree by offering tuition support and flexibility in their schedules so those sort of things can be accomplished for them," says Mohr.

Mohr also says compared to other medical professions, requirements for nursing have not been modified for quite some time. 

And with so many constant developments in the medical field, the opportunity to continue learning can be crucial.

"Nurses have come from a lot of different backgrounds," says Mohr."Sometimes there's conflict with raising families and shift work and all of that, so we want to be sure we give them the opportunity to complete that."

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