March 1, 2004
INFORMATION: John McElwain or John Green, (661) 362-3494 or 3684
Nurse-Training Collaborative Gets $400,000 Boost
College of the Canyons has received a $400,000 challenge grant to help fund an innovative three-year pilot program that addresses the critical statewide nursing shortage on a regional level.
The grant from the Weingart Foundation will help launch the Associate Degree Nursing Regional Collaborative, a cooperative effort among College of the Canyons, four other community colleges and at least 10 hospitals to increase the number of registered nurses.
Were very fortunate that the Weingart Foundation recognized this unique and viable approach that will help solve the nursing shortage in our region, said Sue Albert, dean of allied health at College of the Canyons. It is designed to create a more diverse nursing pool and support the needs of employers and students.
The grant can be used only for the collaboratives equipment, and a matching amount must now be raised for the Weingart Foundation funding to be granted.
The collaborative, led by College of the Canyons, will create a new first-year nursing program that will be developed and shared by Los Angeles Valley College, L.A. Pierce College, Glendale College and Ventura College.
Most colleges have waiting lists of prospective nursing students, illustrating the fact that there is no shortage of applicants. Rather, colleges are unable to accommodate those on waiting lists because of a lack of faculty, space and equipment. The collaborative will transform those waiting lists into nursing students who can be advanced into the workforce.
The need for nurses is critical. Not only is California dead-last nationally in the ratio of nurses to patients, state and health-care officials project a statewide shortfall of 25,000 nurses by 2006.
Partner colleges will develop the curriculum in partnership. College and hospital officials have already begun developing a shared curriculum that will be implemented in this fall. Courses also will be offered via video teleconferencing at hospitals, which also will provide skills lab space.
Key to the programs success is the securing of adequate funding. The programs projected cost is about $1.8 million. Several hospitals have committed $235,000 to the program so far. They include Providence Holy Cross, which contributed $100,000; Providence St. Josephs, $100,000; Northridge Hospital Medical Center, $25,000; and Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, $10,000.
College of the Canyons is pursuing additional funding sources.
Launching of the collaborative means students now on waiting lists can be enrolled in the program and acquire first-year nursing skills and knowledge, then fill vacancies in second-year courses at the partner college of their choosing.
Associate degree nursing programs, such as those offered at College of the Canyons and other community colleges, are the primary source for registered nurses in California. Such programs produce more than two-thirds of the registered nurse graduates in the state every year.