Campus: Fresno -- September 6, 2007

Fresno State increases capacity in response to nursing shortage crisis

New funding from the California State University (CSU) has allowed the Department of Nursing at Fresno State to increase enrollment to make headway against the San Joaquin Valley’s deepening nursing shortage.

Fresno State will admit an additional 34 students during the current academic year, expanding the pool of diverse students who can provide culturally proficient care for an increasingly diverse population in the San Joaquin Valley. The CSU funding not only adds capacity for baccalaureate students, it helps the university prepare more nurses for work in critical areas.

Throughout the CSU campuses, undergraduate nursing enrollments are expected to grow by 340 students.

The Department of Nursing at California State University, Fresno collaborates with hospitals and medical centers throughout the Valley to ensure that nursing students receive the skills and training to serve the region’s growing healthcare needs. The department receives support from hospitals in the area that have assisted it in returning to twice-a-year admission of new student nurses.

Based on a May 2007 report released by the Central California Center for Excellence in Nursing, the San Joaquin Valley’s nursing shortage is rapidly reaching crisis proportions. The report concludes that the outlook for the future may be even more devastating with an increasing gap between the supply of nurses and the demand for health care.

“Many students meet the qualifications for our program but we simply don’t have enough nurse educators who can prepare them for the workforce,” explained Dr. Benjamin Cuellar, dean of the College of Health and Human Services at Fresno State.

“Unfortunately some students end up leaving the Valley, the state or even the country to pursue a nursing career because there is such a long waiting list,” Cuellar said.

The state’s effort to increase the number of nurses will have a far-reaching effect on communities. However, it is critical that academic programs, decision-makers, hospitals and other health care entities continue to work together to develop comprehensive long-term strategies to address the regional nursing shortage.

For more information about this release, please contact Brandie Campbell at: 559.278.7940 or 559.994.3189 or visit: .

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