Hofstra University and Northwell Health are launching a new undergraduate nursing program to address a nursing shortage fueled by an aging population and the growth of community-based health care.
The Bachelor of Science degree in nursing marks the latest expansion of the Hofstra Northwell partnership, which includes the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine and the Hofstra Northwell School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. The first class begins in Fall 2021.
In conjunction with the new program, Hofstra will build a $60 million, 70,000-square-foot Science and Innovation Center with state-of-the-art laboratories, classrooms and learning spaces for nursing and engineering students. The new building will open in Fall 2022.
The Hofstra Northwell School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies opened in 2015 and offers three nurse practitioner degrees, a graduate degree in cardiovascular sciences and perfusion medicine, two physician assistant programs and several advanced certificate programs.
“The healthcare industry continues to change dramatically, transforming roles and creating opportunities for nurses that didn’t exist even just a few years ago,” said Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz. “This is a natural evolution of our partnership with Northwell, and together with Hofstra’s School of Health Professions and Human Services, continues to advance our mission of educating the next generation of highly-qualified health care professionals who will serve our community for years to come.”
The healthcare industry is Long Island’s largest private sector employer, accounting for 17 percent of private sector jobs, according to a State Comptroller’s report. At Northwell, for example, nursing professionals account for about a quarter of the health system’s 70,000 employees.
The partnership between Hofstra and Northwell, one of the nation’s largest health systems, provides students with a robust and varied network of opportunities for clinical placements across 23 hospitals and nearly 800 outpatient facilities, as well as access to diverse expert clinicians and resources.
“This new program will help address a chronic shortage of nurses impacting health systems across the country — a shortfall expected to worsen in coming years as our aging population requires more care,” said Northwell President & CEO Michael Dowling. “At the same time, the program will support registered nurses interested in advancing their training to take on other roles in health education, patient navigation, population health management, health technology, clinical research, data analytics and other career paths that accompany the development of an interconnected 5G network that will drive technological advances and integration within the health care delivery system.”
The World Health Organization has designated 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife to highlight the growth of the profession and nurses’ critical role in the evolving health care delivery system.
Nursing is one of the fastest growing professions in the nation, driven by the demands of health care reform and the increased need for geriatric care due to aging Baby Boomers.
By 2050, the number of U.S. residents age 65 and over will nearly double to 83.7 million.
As a result, the need for registered nurses is expected to grow by 12 percent by 2028, compared to seven percent growth for all other professions, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
And as the need for registered nurses grows, several factors are depleting the profession’s current ranks, including the demand for nurse practitioners and a wave of retirements by aging RNs.
In New York state, for example, the demand for nurse practitioners is expected to grow by 41.6 percent by 2026, according to a 2016 state Labor Department report.
Meanwhile, the federal Health Resources and Services Administration estimates that more than 1 million registered nurses will retire over the next decade.
“Registered nurses are the pipeline for advanced practice nurses, nursing faculty, nurse leaders and nurse scientists,” said Kathleen Gallo, RN, PhD, founding dean of the Hofstra Northwell School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. “This new undergraduate nursing program will help ensure that the next generation of RNs is highly competent, well-educated and responsive to the ongoing, transformative changes occurring in our nation’s health care delivery system.”
For more information about the new BS in Nursing degree go to hofstra.edu/undergradnurse