Riverside City College’s School of Nursing has received two Song-Brown Grants, totaling $325,000. In announcing the awards, Lupe Alonzo-Diaz, deputy director of California’s Healthcare Workforce Development Division, cited RCC’s “continued efforts to deliver primary care services in areas of unmet needs.”
RCC was one of four community colleges selected for a Registered Nurse Education Capitation grant out of 17 applicants.
Its $200,000 award trailed only Cal State Northridge, which received $240,000.
RCC’s School of Nursing will use the funds to address the RN shortage in Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, and Los Angeles counties. RCC will hire more full-time faculty to provide instruction and support, and admit an additional 10 students into the traditional Associate Degree in Nursing program. Students admitted into Nursing 11 will have their clinical rotation at one of RCC’s partner hospitals, all located in medically underserved areas. These hospitals serve a patient population with a very high percentage of Hispanic and Spanish-only-speaking individuals. The 10 students will be expected to complete the ADN program and qualify to take the NCLEX exam. Based on historical data, after graduation as many as 90 percent of them will secure employment in the local communities.
RCC’s School of Nursing is one of only 27 nationally accredited associate degree in Nursing programs in California, and has demonstrated great success in attracting and admitting members of minority groups into its RN program. Between 2002 and 2014, the applicant pool of students seeking admission to the RCC ADN program increased three-fold, with 911 applicants for 160 slots, 58 percent who are minority/disadvantaged.
The program also secured a $125,000 Song-Brown Grant for the Registered Nurse Education Programs. The grant will allow the program to implement an articulated associate degree-to-bachelor’s degree Nursing Pathway in coordination with local BSN programs. A growing body of research suggests that a BSN prepares nurses for greater professional responsibility and more complex practice. It also suggests that having a higher proportion of BSN-prepared nurses on staff in hospitals is linked to better patient outcomes. In its October 2010 report on The Future of Nursing, the Institute of Medicine states “an increase in the percentage of nurses with a BSN is imperative as the scope of what the public needs from nurses grows, expectations surrounding quality heighten, and the settings where nurses are needed proliferate and become more complex.”
The School of Nursing was one of just eight programs in the state to receive full funding.
Grants like these increase the great work done at RCC and help equip our nursing students with the knowledge needed to succeed. RCC’s effort to develop programs the meet the needs of employers is a great example of Seizing Our Destiny intelligent growth pillar.