Campus: CSU Long Beach -- January 26, 2004

Long Beach Memorial Medical Center/Miller Children's Hospital and Cal State Long Beach Partnership Begins Innovative, $15 Million Accelerated RN/BSN Nursing Program to Address Nursing Shortage

Program Will More Than Double Number of Students Via Satellite Campus --- Human Simulator Laboratory with Adult and Pediatric Mannequins Provide Realistic Patient Care Training

A precedent-setting $15 million collaboration between Long Beach Memorial Medical Center/Miller Children’s Hospital and California State University, Long Beach has been established to address California’s critical shortage of registered nurses by making nursing education available to more university students via a satellite campus at the hospital.

The prototype nursing partnership, which includes both medical centers and the university in the education process, will more than double the number of Long Beach nursing students able to begin work on RN/BSN degrees. Beginning this spring, it also enables students to complete the nursing component of their RN/bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree in just two years vs. three.

“The shortage of nurses in California is adding more pressure to both nursing education and the health care industry,” said Byron Schweigert, CEO, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Miller Children’s Hospital. “To address this issue head-on, our hospitals and Cal State University, Long Beach are offering a groundbreaking program to significantly increase the number of nurses in the area and set the standard for the rest of the nation.”

“I believe this to be the boldest, most innovative nursing program in the state, and it may well revolutionize nursing education within the California State University system,” said Robert C. Maxson, president, California State University, Long Beach. “We are truly fortunate to partner with Long Beach Memorial and Miller Children’s Hospital– among the most respected and highly rated medical centers in the country.

California is faced with one of the worst nursing shortages in the nation, second only to Nevada in lowest number of RNs per capita. Innovative programs like this are critical to increasing the number of registered nurses in the workforce. Most of California’s nursing schools are currently filled to capacity, with many schools placing potential students on waiting lists. For example, some community colleges (where 70 percent of nursing students are educated) have waiting lists up to three years to get into a nursing program.

Currently, Cal State University, Long Beach has more than 900 students actively involved in pre-nursing, RN/BSN and graduate nursing programs, with that number expected to increase to 1,400 within five years. This accelerated RN/BSN program will eventually provide for an additional 108 graduating RNs annually. As part of the agreement, Long Beach Memorial and Miller Children’s Hospital offer to pay the expenses for tuition and books in return for each RN working for Long Beach Memorial or Miller Children’s Hospital for two years.

The partnership includes creation of a satellite campus at Long Beach Memorial where nursing students will take clinical courses led by faculty from both the university and medical center. The hospital’s sophisticated nine-bed skills/simulator lab serves as a realistic patient care setting providing a learning opportunity in a non-threatening clinical environment. Prior to and during their direct, hands-on care experiences with real patients at Long Beach Memorial and Miller Children’s Hospital, nurses will train using the Human Patient Simulator, a computer-model-driven, full-sized mannequin that delivers true-to-life scenarios that swiftly change to meet instructors’ goals. The ultra sophisticated and highly versatile Human Patient Simulator blinks, speaks and breathes, has a heartbeat and a pulse, and accurately mirrors human responses to such procedures as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), intravenous medication, intubation, ventilation, and catheterization. The training facility also includes practice areas for training nurses on the fundamentals, neonatal intensive care, pediatric intensive care and adult critical care.

Long Beach Memorial Medical Center/Miller Children’s Hospital is the second largest private hospital on the west coast and one of a few in the country with adult, pediatric, cancer, heart, rehabilitation, emergency and trauma center all on one campus. Cal State Long Beach is the second largest university in the state and the largest in the California State University system. Its Nursing Program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and by the California Board of Registered Nursing.

Media Contacts: Long Beach Memorial/Miller Children’s, Colleen Reinhart/ Joni Ramirez/Terri Starkman (562) 933-2814/933-2805/933-2804 Cal State Long Beach, Toni Beron/Rick Gloady, 562) 985-8201/ 985-5454

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