Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Local hospitals help fund expansion of Solano Community College nursing program

Article Last Updated: Tuesday, Sep 20, 2005 - 11:37:39 pm PDT

Local hospitals help fund expansion of SCC nursing program

By Jennifer Perez

- Solano Community College is hoping to help with the need for more nurses.

The demand for registered nurses is on the rise and hospitals are frantic to meet the state-mandated nurse-to-patient staffing ratios. Nationwide, the shortage is only expected to become more severe.

Beginning this semester, SCC gains much-needed support for the expanding nursing program though a partnership with Solano County hospitals - Sutter Solano Medical Center, NorthBay Healthcare and Kaiser Permanente.

"Almost every aspect of the health-care system has felt the impact of the emerging nursing shortage," said Fran Brown, SCC's dean of health occupations. "There is a significant demand for nurses in California and throughout the nation. We are so pleased to have the support of our local hospitals to expand our program to help more students become RNs."

With the help of Sutter, NorthBay and Kaiser, SCC expanded nursing program enrollment from 44 to 54 students. All three hospitals provided on-site clinical rotations for students to gain practical experience in the hospital setting. Kaiser and NorthBay donated money, while Sutter Solano offered the time of one of its staff nurses to provided clinical instruction to nursing students during their hospital rotations in the spring. This means SCC will not have to hire an additional instructor to teach students.

With such a high demand for RNs, SCC has a waiting list of more than 300 students. The program receives general-fund money, but with an average cost of $10,000 per year to educate an SCC nursing student and only $3,500 per student provided from state funding, additional financial support is vital. This semester's funding came from Oakland and future years funding will come from Kaiser Vallejo and Walnut Creek.

For more information about the nursing program, call 864-7108 or visit

Contact Jennifer Perez at 425-4646, X359 or

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