Campus: Long Beach -- April 27, 2006

CSULB Family Nurse Practitioner Program Receives $139,411 Grant through State's Song-Brown Program

The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Program at California State University, Long Beach has been awarded a $139,411 grant through the state's Song-Brown program, which is administered by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD).

It was one of 12 grants worth $1.35 million announced by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to support healthcare workforce training programs. The grant period begins July 1.

The Song-Brown program provides support funding to family practice, family nurse practitioner and physician assistant training programs. The Song-Brown Family Physician Training Act was passed by the California Legislature in 1973 to encourage program graduates to practice in designated underserved areas of California.

"The purpose of this grant is to increase our ability to place students in diverse medically underserved areas, which is the focus of the Song-Brown program," said Bonnie Kellogg, professor of nursing and director of graduate studies for the CSULB Nursing Program. "A major portion of this grant will go to hiring a clinical coordinator whose primary function will be to identify clinical opportunities and develop them for our students so that they get a comprehensive view of what California has to offer a practicing clinician in the healthcare industry - not just in the private or non-profit sectors, but also in the governmental and grassroots areas as well."

Part of the grant, Kellogg added, will also be used to cover the cost of a part-time faculty member who will provide students coursework in Spanish for healthcare professionals. These classes will focus on the Spanish culture and Spanish language to help non-Spanish speaking students communicate at a rudimentary level with patients in predominately Spanish-speaking facilities.

"One of the things we have found through the FNP Program is that if nursing students don't spend a good portion of their educational experience in community-based kinds of facilities, they are less likely to work there," Kellogg pointed out. "Conversely, if they have a good experience, then they are more apt to work in that kind of facility once they graduate from the program. So, we have got to continue to find clinical placements for our FNP students in these underserved facilities."

The FNP Program at CSULB is a master's degree program established in 1975. Over the last 30 years, more than 600 students have graduated from it, and many of the graduates have key positions as family nurse practitioner leaders in the state of California and throughout the country.

Of the 12 grants announced by Gov. Schwarzenegger, six went to FNP training programs, four went to physician assistant (PA) programs and two went to combined FNP/PA programs.

"Educating and training new medical professionals is a primary way we can continue to improve quality and access to healthcare for all Californians," Gov. Schwarzenegger said. "This funding will increase opportunities for California students to pursue careers in the healthcare field and benefit patients throughout our state."

Contact: Rick Gloady, 562/985-5454, rgloady@csulb.edu
Shayne Schroeder, 562/985-1727, schroede@csulb.edu


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