Nursing education agreements with Cal State San Bernardino (CSUSB), Cal State Fullerton (CSUF) and Riverside City College (RCC) will move to increase the diversity of students in those colleges’ nursing programs and grow the number of nursing graduates entering the workforce. The Memorandum of Understanding between CSUSB and RCC, and a similar agreement between CSUF and RCC, are part of the California Tri-County Concurrent Enrollment Program (CTCE), designed to create an efficient, streamlined and seamless pathway for RCC students with associate degrees in nursing who wish to obtain bachelor’s degrees in nursing from either of the two CSU campuses. “This agreement will help nursing students make a smooth transition to earning bachelor’s degrees and ultimately bring more qualified, highly trained nurses to help meet the growing health care needs of our local communities,” said Tomás D. Morales, president of Cal State San Bernardino. The agreements establish procedures for governance of the programs, admission procedures, operation of student financial aid, curriculum responsibilities, sharing of classroom and other resources such as simulation labs and libraries. The collaboration ensures nursing students receive high-quality, affordable, community college and university curriculum pathways that prepare BSN nurse generalists to serve California’s large and diverse population. “We view this as a model that can be used to integrate community college and California State University campuses across the state in the preparation of nurses,” said Stephanie Vaughn, director of the School of Nursing at Cal State Fullerton. “The more bachelor of science prepared nurses in a facility, the better the patient outcomes.” “Riverside City College is committed to solving critical workforce needs, including providing qualified nursing professionals,” RCC President Gregory Anderson said. “That’s why we are proud to partner with CSUSB and CSUF to create this smooth pathway that leads directly to the BSN and good jobs throughout Riverside, Orange and San Bernardino counties.” Morales said the MOU became a reality thanks to the efforts of State Sen. Richard Roth. “We are grateful for Sen. Richard Roth’s determination and enthusiasm in making the CTCE a priority.” A key advocate and proponent of the program, Roth, D-Riverside, has had ongoing concerns about meeting the health care needs of the inland region. The senator has actively engaged his district staff in the development of a model program for meeting the need for BS Nursing degrees. To that end, both CSUSB and CSUF have been engaged in regular meetings with RCC to develop a dual-enrollment cohort BSN program, which is scheduled to launch next fall.  “Inland Southern California is experiencing a surge in its economy and population as the region veers into a public health crisis. We need to ensure we have the health care infrastructure in place to meet the looming needs,” said Roth. “This innovative pilot program addresses that need by driving more bachelor's degree nurses into medically underserved regions like Inland Southern California, delivering health care where it is needed most.” The three campuses created a draft dual-enrollment cohort program, a model that is associated with greater retention and completion. Students will apply to the program while at RCC and will take all nursing licensure preparation, Associate Degree in Nursing content, and lower-division general education.  In the final year of the program, the students will remain at RCC where depending on which CSU campus they are enrolled in, will be taught by CSUSB or CSUF nursing instructors and complete the bachelor’s degree nursing requirements and upper-division CSU general education requirements, said Terese Burch, chair of the CSUSB Department of Nursing. “We are delighted to be working with RCC and Cal State Fullerton to help nursing students transfer to a CSU,” said Burch. “Our ultimate goal is to help these students succeed here at CSUSB and ultimately in the nursing and health care field.” The CTCE program will help as the need for highly trained nurses continues to grow at a rapid pace.According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for skilled registered nurses is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations. The continued demand for nurses will occur for a number of reasons, including a greater emphasis on preventive care; growing rates of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity; and demand for health care services from the baby-boom population, as they live longer and more active lives. Visit the following websites for more information:

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