July 15, 2020

SUNY Empire State College Launches Online Post-Graduate Certificate for Nurse Educators to Help Address Looming Nurse Shortage

Program Developed to Address National Shortage of Nurse Educators and Nurses

Graduate-Level Courses Available Completely Online to Fit the Busy Lives of Working Professionals

Enrollment Open for Fall 2020


(SARATOGA SPRINGS, NEW YORK – July 15, 2020) SUNY Empire State College today announced its new advanced certificate in nursing education to help address the looming shortage of nurses and nurse educators across the U.S.

The flexible certificate program was designed for working professionals, consisting of four courses that can be completed entirely online in as few as two terms. The certificate will help those with a master’s degree in nursing improve their skills and marketability when pursuing teaching positions in academia or practice settings. Enrollment is currently open for fall 2020.

Colleges and universities across the country have been forced to turn away qualified applicants from undergraduate and graduate nursing programs due to an insufficient number of faculty, access to clinical sites, or budget constraints. According to the American Association of Colleges and Nursing (AACN), more than 75,000 qualified applicants were rejected from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2018, while nearly 3,000 were denied admission to doctoral programs.

As fewer colleges and universities are able to meet student demand, concerns about the country’s nursing shortage mount. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are currently three million nurses working in the United States, and by 2024 there will be more than one million vacancies for registered nurses. This impending shortage means fewer nurses in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living and long-term care facilities, schools, clinics, in the military, and in homes.

“To help put more qualified nurses in the field and address this looming shortage, we need to start with nurse educators,” said SUNY Empire State College President Jim Malatras. “This flexible new program lets busy working nurses complete their courses online, and on their time, to advance their careers while helping to build a stronger nursing pipeline. SUNY Empire is proud to introduce this opportunity for the frontline workers of our healthcare system.”

“Across the country and around the globe, we are experiencing a significant nurse educator shortage, and with pending retirements of nurse faculty, this situation will only get worse,” said SUNY Empire State College Dean of the School of Nursing and Allied Health Bridget Nettleton. “We need to prepare new nurse educators to teach nursing now and into the future. This post-graduate certificate in nursing education will help us achieve that goal.” 

To further address and attempt to mitigate this crisis and meet workforce demands, SUNY Empire recently signed transfer pathway agreements with Hudson Valley Community College, North Country Community College, and Sullivan County Community College to lower barriers to education, and help students complete their degrees in less time and less cost. Last fall, SUNY Empire welcomed 96 transfer students from Nassau Community College. The seamless transfer from Nassau’s associate degree program to SUNY Empire’s RN to bachelor of science in nursing program was developed to help fulfill an urgent need for nurses in clinical placements on Long Island. Upon completion of the program, nursing students will satisfy the state’s requirement for registered nurses to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

The School of Nursing and Allied Health at SUNY Empire State College offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, including an RN to bachelor of science in nursing, a bachelor of science in allied health, a master of science in nursing administration, and a master of science in nursing education.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College educates more than 17,000 students in person, online, and through a blend of both, at more than 30 locations in New York and at eight international sites worldwide. Together with one of SUNY Empire’s more than 1,300 faculty mentors, each student designs their own individualized pathway to a college degree that accommodates their schedule and awards credit for prior college-level learning. SUNY Empire awards more than 3,000 degrees annually and 94 percent of graduates stay in New York state. Today, more than 87,000 SUNY Empire alumni are entrepreneurs, veterans, and active members of the military, professional athletes, teachers, medical professionals, and leaders in their field, as well as in their communities. To learn more, visit www.esc.edu and follow the college on social media @SUNYEmpire.