A grant from Kaiser will help students from community college programs transition to CSUEB's bachelor's degree program.
In an ongoing effort to create pathways to college, Cal State East Bay has partnered with local community colleges to ease transitions for students transferring to CSUEB. This summer, a nursing collaborative received a $250,000 grant to fund a pathway program that will begin at the community college level and continue in CSUEB’s nursing program.
The Kaiser Permanente Northern California Fund for Health Education, through the East Bay Community Foundation, will provide money to help students currently enrolled in an associate degree nursing program move into the bachelor of science nursing degree program at CSUEB. The advanced placement “ADN to BSN” option will be available to students from Chabot, Ohlone, Los Medanos and Contra Costa community colleges.
Carolyn Fong, chair of the nursing department, said that although students are still required to apply to Cal State East Bay as transfer students, the program beginning in the community college will promote a smoother transition. "The baccalaureate degrees expands the knowledge base for students with an associate’s degree,” said Fong. “With the BSN degree, many more opportunities are open to them in their careers.”
The first class of transfers will have approximately 30 students, Fong said. Each student enrolled in the first cohort will be given a $500 book scholarship from the grant funding.
She added that CSUEB is working closely with the community colleges to ensure their lower division offerings match the CSU requirements, so students will get the credits they’ve already earned without retaking courses. Students will complete the CSUEB baccalaureate program in one calendar year, with most courses available online.
The greater flexibility of an online program will allow students to begin their first nursing jobs while in the BSN program, Fong explained, gaining valuable training and experience as they meet the needs for trained health care professionals in the area.
Health care remains a growing industry, according to recent studies by the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, and nurses are in high demand. Reports show that the state of California will face a significant need for more registered nurses in the coming decades.
The grant from Kaiser is one of many types of support the nursing program has received from several other local hospitals and organizations, such as John Muir and Alta Bates. “The health care community clearly sees a need for more nurses,” Fong said. “It really improves the comprehensiveness and quality of care for everyone in the community.”