Cal State L.A. Joins CSU Effort to Prepare More Qualified Nurses
Los Angeles, CA -- California State University, Los Angeles has joined the CSU effort to fill the need for more qualified nurses by implementing strategies to increase the number of students who enroll in the Cal State L.A. nursing programs and enter the nursing profession.
Decreased funding to higher education, changing student enrollment patterns, employment and hiring trends, and availability of clinical assignments for the past several years have resulted in fewer students entering the nursing profession. This has impacted the supply of Registered Nurses (RNs). Conservative estimates indicate California will need 25,000 new nurses over the next six years.
One of Cal State L.A.'s strategies is to increase the number of basic students being admitted in the Fall 2000 from 60 to 70 and to investigate the possibility of admitting two classes a year, said Nursing Department chair Judy Papenhausen. Statewide, nursing programs are investigating how many more nurses they could accommodate if sufficient funds are designated to increase enrollment.
Cal State L.A.'s direction is to increase collaboration innovatively with the community colleges. Strong nursing collaborations in associate and baccalaureate nursing programs already exist at Cal State L.A. as well as CSU Sacramento, CSU Fullerton, and CSU Stanislaus. Cal State L.A. is currently developing a collaborative model in which local community colleges and the University would share in the educational preparation of nursing students.
The CSU is funding and implementing a statewide effort to simplify the process of transferring from a community college to CSU for nurses. It also plans to distribute information to prospective students and counselors about available spaces in nursing programs throughout the state.
According to the California PostSecondary Education Commission, the CSU currently produces more than two-thirds of the four-year nursing graduates in the state. There are 13 pre-licensure nursing programs and 17 RN to BSN programs in the CSU.
Cal State L.A. graduates about 60 BSN nurses a year and about 40-50 returning ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) students who return to complete their BSN. In its June 2000 issue, Hispanic Outlook ranked Cal State L.A. fourteenth among the top 50 U.S. colleges granting baccalaureate degrees in Nursing to Hispanic students.
The CSU estimates that an additional $15 million over two fiscal years is needed to support high cost program expansion by four to six percent in full-time equivalent student enrollment. The $15 million approved by the budget conference committee will allow for an additional 1,000 nursing students or about 500 full-time equivalent students on an ongoing basis within a two-year time frame.