A $1.7 million grant from John Muir Health in 2007 helped create the Bachelor's Degree in Nursing program at Cal State East Bay’s Concord Campus, enhancing the university’s ability to meet a critical need for well-trained nurses in Contra Costa County. With the average age of registered nurses nearing 47 and an aging baby boomer population expected to strain the nations’ health care system, an expansion of nursing was vital.
“Many hospitals were very appreciative when Cal State East Bay expanded its nursing program to the Concord Campus," said Carolyn Fong, former chair and professor of Nursing and Health Sciences at CSUEB. "John Muir Health gave a $1.7 million grant to start the program; Kaiser Permanente donated funds for two instructors, and Alta Bates Summit salaried five nursing instructors from its RN staff.
“The program couldn't have existed without the support from the healthcare community," Fong said.
Since 2007, John Muir Health has donated another $3 million to the Concord Campus nursing program, Kaiser Permanente contributing $300,000 toward the continuing education of nurses who have already earned associate degrees.
The pre-nursing program at Cal State East Bay allows freshmen and sophomore students to complete their lower division requirements in preparation for applying to nursing programs at CSUEB and other universities across California.
Once lower division requirements are met, students not interested in moving on to a nursing career have the option of entering the health sciences major at Concord.
Cal State East Bay’s Concord Campus began offering freshman pre-nursing classes in fall 2008, and today the nursing and pre-nursing cohorts form the core of the campus’s daytime program with new freshman clusters beginning each Fall quarter.
The pre-nursing program is especially challenging, with students taking as many as 16 units in science and supporting courses. Students new to the college experience need to develop strong study skills in order to meet the competitive demands for gaining entry into the nursing programs at CSUEB and other institutions.
A new, 3,100 square foot organic chemistry lab complete with a main lab space, storage, and an instrument room will open this year to support the increasingly popular health programs on the Concord Campus.