Assemblywoman Buttenschon Helps Pass Legislation Supporting the Next Generation of Nurses, Bolstering Safety at Youth Summer Camps

Albany  Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon (D-Utica/Rome) announced that legislation she co-sponsored to support the health and safety of communities has passed in the state Assembly. One measure allows for simulation experience as a part of nursing students’ clinical coursework to address nursing shortages (A.3076-A). The second bill tightens restrictions for staff members and volunteers at non-regulated camps for children (A.4117).

“We are facing a critical shortage of nurses, which is only projected to worsen over time,” said Buttenschon. “SUNY, CUNY, private colleges and community colleges all support the legislation that I co-sponsored to address this pressing issue. The measure will provide nursing students with realistic experiences using state-of-the-art simulation technology that will help ease them into the profession. This innovative hands-on training will prepare nursing students well for rewarding careers.”

New York faces a shortage of almost 40,000 nurses by 2030, according to the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York. While nursing certification and higher education programs require clinical education, the legislation that Buttenschon co-sponsored would allow one-third of this clinical education to be completed through simulation-based learning experiences. Allowing nursing programs to use clinical simulations more broadly will improve access to hands-on clinical experiences, a crucial step in addressing the nursing shortage statewide.

While the first bill addresses the well-being of all New Yorkers through modernizing and streamlining nursing training, the second measure focuses on ensuring the safety of children. This legislation would require summer camps not regulated by the state Department of Health to complete background checks on all employees or volunteers, closing a loophole in state law and bringing parity with regulated youth camps.

“Nothing is more important than keeping our children safe,” said Buttenschon. “When parents in the Mohawk Valley send their children to summer camps, they assume that the organization has completed background checks on the staff members interacting with their child. However, this commonsense practice is not always followed at unregulated summer camps. I helped pass this legislation because every parent should feel confident that staff members have been properly vetted no matter what camp their children attend over the summer.”