Spectrum News: Bill Would Provide Stipend for New York Clinicians to Mentor Others

Susan Birkhead, DNS, MPH, RN, CNE, interim dean of St. Peter’s Health Partners’ Schools of Nursing, was interviewed by Spectrum News for its story on proposed legislation that would provide nurses who become preceptors with a $5,000 stipend.

The proposed stipend was the focus of a news conference held May 31 at the Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing.

From the report:

A bill is being considered in New York state that would offer compensation for clinicians who participate in programs to mentor practitioners getting their start.

The legislation would provide them $5,000 in compensation.

Susan Birkhead, dean of St. Peter’s Health Partners Schools of Nursing, is pushing for the bill’s passage. She argues the first step in training nurses who will stay in the profession is a good teacher, often in the form of a preceptor.

Preceptors are health care workers who mentor and supervise emerging clinicians as they complete their required clinical work.

“They take the student nurse, or the student physical therapist, whatever occupation under their wing, and shows them the ropes,” she said.

Supporters say the legislation would create an incentive for more experienced nurses to pass on their institutional knowledge, hopefully increasing ranks in the process.

Mary Loughlin, a senior nursing student, drove home the importance of the program to emerging clinicians.

“It’s one thing to read a lesson in a textbook or practice in a lab, it’s another to have a professional in your field who has been in your shoes by your side to guide you along the way,” she told reporters.

The bill has bipartisan support.

Republican state Senator Jake Ashby said it is part of an effort to strengthen the health care workforce with many skilled workers leaving during the pandemic, ensuring there is access to that important training.

Click here to watch Spectrum’s full report.

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