Campus: CSU Channel Islands -- May 2, 2005

California State University Channel Islands Receives Funds for Study, Planning of New Nursing Program

California State University Channel Islands has been allocated funds for a feasibility study and planning of a new four-year generic baccalaureate in nursing program (BSN) that will help to alleviate the shortage of healthcare workers across the state.

The support of the nursing program came from the Ventura County Board of Supervisors, which met recently to discuss funding sources.

"This marks a tremendous day for Ventura County," said CSUCI President Richard Rush. "These funds, in addition to those from the federal government and from private sources here in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, will permit us to move forward with this program, with the anticipated enrollment of students in the fall of 2007.

"We are honored to be participating in this partnership with the county, with public health agencies, and all those who have worked for months to make this happen, and we thank the Board of Supervisors in fostering these efforts."

The funding comes from the $1 million distribution of tobacco settlement funds recently approved by the board. From that fund, the board last year allocated $230,000 to develop a CSUCI nursing program that would educate and train nursing medical professionals.

In addition, $750,000 of the tobacco money was set aside to establish a new Ventura County Community Foundation fund, the earnings from which will support scholarships for students interested in careers in nursing and other related fields, and who agree to practice their future professions in Ventura County. Another $20,000 will be used to cover start-up costs of the loan fund.

Major funding support also came from the federal government, with the University receiving a $200,000 grant from the Fund for Improvement of Post Secondary Education, largely achieved through the efforts of Congressman Elton Gallegly.

The most recent funding came this week when the Ventura County Medical Center announced that it would give $38,334 for the CSUCI program.

President Rush had also been working closely with local hospitals to secure their support and funding for the program. In response, Community Memorial Hospital, Los Robles Regional Medical Center, Simi Valley Adventist Hospital, and Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital each have committed $38,000, and John's Regional Medical Center/Pleasant Valley Hospital has committed $50,000, for a total of $241,500.

Hugh Ralston, president of the Ventura County Community Foundation, also thanked the board for their efforts. "Our key functions-careful stewardship, thoughtful grant-making, and community leadership-are all demonstrated in this innovative program. It fulfills many of the dreams of our founders, who wanted to put capital to work in Ventura County for the benefit of the County."

Baccalaureate-prepared nurses have a critical role to fill in our health care system in Ventura County, said Dr. Barbara Thorpe, CSUCI faculty and coordinator of the program. "We are moving forward in a very focused way to ensure that we have a quality program in place for students to enroll in by the fall of 2007."

Media Contact: Richard Suenaga, 805-437-8940


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