2008/09 Support Budget

Budgetary Challenges: Clinical Nursing Support, $7.8 million

To help meet California’s demand for qualified nurses, the California State University seeks funding for a second cohort of students in its Entry Level Master’s in Nursing (ELM) program and its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. Both programs received state budget support in 2006/07 and 2007/08, for the first cohort of what has been planned as a three-year level of sustained expansion of CSU nursing program enrollments. In addition to funding for more FTES in BSN and ELM programs, the CSU is also seeking support for the development of a doctoral program in nursing, which will be the required terminal degree for nurses in the near future.

The CSU is requesting $7.8 million to increase funding support for nursing in these three areas. Second-year student cohorts for both ELM and BSN students are funded at a state marginal cost rate of $14,460 per FTES.

New cohort of 163 FTES in the ELM program
(163 FTES x $14,460)
$2,357,000
New cohort of 340 FTES in BSN program
(340 FTES x $14,460)
$4,917,000
Doctoral Nursing Program Development $519,000

Each year, California’s demand for nurses exceeds the number of students who are prepared to enter the workforce. By 2010, over 47,000 additional nurses will be needed to serve California’s population. Currently, California’s institutions of higher education graduate approximately 6,000 nurses annually. To meet state demand, the state will need to graduate at least 9,000 additional nurses for an annual total of 15,000. In 2003/04, only 15 to 20 percent of students who sought admission to CSU clinical nursing programs could be accommodated due to limited numbers of qualified faculty, facilities, and clinical placement opportunities in health care facilities.

Accreditation standards set the student to faculty ratio (SFR) for nursing at 10.5:1. This accreditation standard, coupled with a serious shortage of nursing faculty and the requirement to supervise a clinical placement activity, drives up the average starting salary for full-time nursing faculty. The current CSU estimate of the starting salary for 10-month nursing faculty members is $77,656 and must be multiplied by a factor of 1.1 to account for clinical placement activities. The resulting faculty salary requirement is $85,422. Given the SFR of 10.5:1, the average cost of faculty salary per student would be $8,135, to which benefits at 37.52 percent are added. In total, new nursing faculty compensation cost-per-student is projected to be $11,187. With other traditional marginal cost factors added to the salary costs, the marginal cost for nursing programs, minus student fees, is $14,460.

This program expansion represents the level that can be accommodated now. Facilities on one hand, and faculty on the other, together with clinical placements, constrict the ability of the CSU to simply start up more cohorts of nursing students. The CSU will continue to ask campus academic leaders about their capacities to recruit faculty and to find buildings for instruction, etc. Exploring the development of doctoral programs to expand the state’s production of nursing faculty will also assist the CSU in meeting this critical statewide need.

This BCP also seeks $519,000 for development of doctoral nursing programs at three CSU campuses in 2008/09. To help meet California’s demand for qualified nurses, the California State University proposes to expand the state’s production of new faculty who will be trained in CSU doctoral nursing programs to teach in the CSU system’s undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. The current and predicted shortage of nursing faculty in the state is considerable, and, at the same time, it is not probable that other institutions of higher education in California will substantially expand their production of doctorate-level nursing faculty.

In addition to the need for more faculty members, doctoral degrees will likely be needed for such professions as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse anesthetists. The CSU will pursue legislative authorization to offer professional nursing doctoral programs, with enrollment beginning in fall 2009. The CSU will propose implementing these programs on three campuses initially, one each for the northern, central, and southern regions. Development will require coordinating the needs of each campus, the CSU system, regional communities, health care sites, accreditation standards, and the Board of Registered Nursing.


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Last Updated: November 13, 2007