Published June 1, 2022
The School of Nursing and Alfred State College have received funding to increase enrollment and address emerging trends in nursing education, eventually increasing medical services in underserved populations.
Paplham and Yu-Ping Chang, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN, FIAAN, senior associate dean in the School of Nursing, are co-leaders of the SUNY grant for UB.
The joint program between Alfred State and UB will allow enrollment to expand in both the dual degree AAS/BS program at Alfred State and the Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program at UB.
“There is a shortage of registered nurses throughout the country and in New York State, but this shortage is especially dire in rural areas in Western New York,” says Chang. “Working with Alfred State to address this shortage is a step in the right direction.”
Alfred State — whose immediate service area is comprised of five large rural counties — is no stranger to the nursing shortage, which is further complicated by the college’s challenge in increasing the number of student applicants from the area.
This program will be a first step in working to attract students from the area and will eventually lead to increased numbers of both bedside baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses and doctorally prepared nurse practitioners, specifically in the rural and medically underserved areas of areas of New York State currently facing critical nursing shortages.
Nursing faculty from Alfred State agree the collaborative grant would lead to better and more care for the rural community surrounding the college.
“We hope this will create more opportunities for our local nurses to finish their advanced degrees,” says Jessica Lippa, chair of the nursing department at Alfred State, and a 2019 graduate of UB’s DNP program.
Lippa says the collaboration will also lead to increased enrollment to assist with nursing shortages.
“Attracting nursing students from the local area and training them on the nuances of working with the local rural and medically underserved population is extremely important,” says Chang. She explains that research suggests that recruiting students from rural backgrounds is an effective strategy to enhance the supply of rural health care providers, as students tend to practice near their place of education.
This trend is supported by a 2018 study by the Rockefeller Institute of Government that found that 71% of SUNY graduates in the health professions and related clinical sciences stayed in New York State to work for at least 10 years after their graduation.
“The Alfred State College and UB School of Nursing Emergency Training Program will provide a long-term benefit in addressing many of the challenges that the area is facing now and in the future,” says Chang.