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State program gives grant to St. Joseph’s

SYRACUSE — St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center will use a grant from the New York State Department of Labor to help its registered nurses gain bachelor’s degrees in nursing.

The grant, for $221,242 over three years, comes from the Department of Labor’s H-1B Registered Nurse Upgrade Project. St. Joseph’s will dedicate it to tuition reimbursement for nurses.

The hospital is striving to require all new registered nurses it hires starting in January to hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing or obtain one within five years. It has required its nurse managers to have the degrees since March of 2010.

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Those moves come against the backdrop of the Institute of Medicine recommending 80 percent of all registered nurses have the degrees by 2020. Legislation introduced in New York’s legislature would also require all registered nurses working in the state have such a degree within 10 years of graduating from associate or diploma programs.

“Studies have shown that better-educated nurses save lives,” St. Joseph’s Chief Nursing Officer AnneMarie Czyz said in a news release. “With every increase of 10 percent in the proportion of staff nurses with a [bachelor’s degree in nursing], there is a corresponding decrease of 5 percent in mortality rates.”

St. Joseph’s has 415 nurses with bachelor’s degrees in nursing. That’s slightly over 30 percent of its nursing workforce. The nonprofit hospital has 431 beds and provides services to patients from Onondaga County and 15 surrounding counties.

Contact Seltzer at rseltzer@cnybj.com

 

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