Cal State Fullerton School of Nursing Awarded $2 Million to Increase Workforce Diversity

Cal State Fullerton School of Nursing Awarded $2 Million to Increase Workforce Diversity

The California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) was recently awarded a $2 million, four-year grant to help further diversity initiatives in the School of Nursing. The award was one of 30 granted this year by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Resources and Services Administration Division of Nursing.

CSUF is seeking to address the social determinants that create challenges for disadvantaged and underrepresented nursing students through the School of Nursing’s new project titled “Enrichment Markers of Better Relationships, Academics and Cultural Enhancement” (EMBRACE). Stephanie Vaughn, professor and director of the School of Nursing, tells

“Ultimately, the grant is going to help us graduate professional nurses who understand cultural variances, exhibit cultural competency and value diversity in the workplace.”

The funding will go toward hiring a learning specialist and counselor for the School of Nursing, a comprehensive review of the admissions process, and cultural competence training for faculty and staff. $600,000 of the funding is also earmarked for student scholarships to be awarded over the next four years. CSUF’s School of Nursing aims to increase the number of underrepresented students, particularly Latinos, across its undergraduate and graduate programs by 20 percent.

To learn more about CSUF’s nursing programs and diversity initiatives, visit here.

Taking Nursing to the Streets

Taking Nursing to the Streets

In March 2016, Sutter Health and WellSpace Health started The Street Nurse Program. Funded by Sutter Health, the program is geared to meet the needs of an underserved population—those affected by homelessness—in Sacramento, California. To date, it has helped more than 200 people who have received access to on-site care, medical advice, disease management education, and wound care.

Amanda Buccina, RN, BSN, is the program’s sole nurse. While they are looking to expand the program, Buccina is making a huge difference in the meantime on her own. “I’m happy to be selected as the first nurse in this role. I was previously in a position managing Medicaid case management programs for a large managed care corporation,” explains Buccina. “When I saw the street nurse job description, it sounded like a great opportunity and one that aligned with my experiences. For the first time in a long time, I felt excited and inspired by a nursing role, so I knew that it was the right opportunity to pursue.”

According to Sutter Health, The Street Nurse Program provides a vital piece in the continuum of care, with programs and partners seamlessly working together to provide a whole health stability model for the most vulnerable among us.

“The Street Nurse Program is an effort to provide an access point into a traditionally very guarded population, enabling us to start linking the homeless to the services they desperately need,” says Buccina.

Oftentimes, those affected by homelessness won’t come to clinics. As Buccina says, “Working with this population, you have to be willing to meet people where they are.”

A great deal of her job involves building relationships. “I work to build trust and rapport with my clients so even if they don’t need me in that exact moment, we have a relationship and familiarity with one another. This comes in [handy] when clients do want and need support, like medical advice, an advocate at a doctor’s appointment, help getting into an alcohol or drug rehab program, or just general wound care,” explains Buccina. “Sometimes, honestly, they just want someone to listen to them–that there is somebody who is consistent and that they trust. If they know someone is invested in them, it makes it slightly more likely they will be invested in themselves.”

Buccina finds it touching when her clients let her into their lives. “They don’t have to let me into their world at all—and they do. It’s kind of like a window into their world. And if they trust me enough to help them,” she says, “it’s kind of a big deal.”

UCLA Nursing School Dean Recognized for Tobacco Free Nurses Project

UCLA Nursing School Dean Recognized for Tobacco Free Nurses Project

The American Academy of Nursing (AAN) has recognized Linda Sarna, dean of the UCLA School of Nursing, as an Edge Runner for her Tobacco Free Nurses Project on World No Tobacco Day 2017. Sarna’s co-collaborator Stella Aguinaga Bialous, associate professor at the UCSF School of Nursing, was also recognized for her contributions.

Their model is called Tobacco Free Nurses (TFN) and provides national and international tobacco cessation education to practicing nurse clinicians, tobacco control resources for patient care, smoking cessation support and assistance to nurses and nursing students, and methods to enhance nurse leadership and advocacy in promoting a tobacco free society. The tobacco free initiative also includes a pocket guide called Helping Smoker’s Quit – A Guide for Clinicians.

Academy President Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, NEA-BC, FAAN, commended the project on “Designing and implementing a project which reduces the use of tobacco, the leading cause of preventable deaths worldwide, is a valuable and noteworthy achievement. Dr. Sarna and Dr. Bialous are commended for designing Tobacco Free Nurses for improving the health of those called to the nursing profession, as well as the patients for whom they care.”

AAN’s Raise the Voice Edge Runner initiative recognizes nurse-designed models of care that impact cost, improve quality, and influence policy. TFN has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) for their advocacy in tobacco control, especially among the healthcare and nursing communities. Over 6,000 nurses have participated in TFN educational and policy efforts in eight countries including the United States.

For more information about the Tobacco Free Nurses Project, visit

California State University Nursing Students Learn Through Clinical Rotations in Multiple Settings

California State University Nursing Students Learn Through Clinical Rotations in Multiple Settings

California State University (CSU) nursing students are enrolled at 19 campuses across the state, all of which put an emphasis on putting students out into their communities right from the get-go. Students learn through clinical rotations in a multitude of settings like hospitals, schools, and community health services, putting their coursework to immediate use outside the classroom while working towards their degrees.

Christine Mallon, PhD, assistant vice chancellor for academic programs, tells, “The CSU has more than 8,100 students enrolled in a total of 79 nursing programs, encompassing various specializations across bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.”

After rolling out Graduation Initiative 2025, CSU nursing programs began increasing student efficiency and ethnic diversity which is now at 54% according to Mallon. The university system has also been working to streamline its nursing programs, reducing the units required for a four-year bachelor’s degree and developing courses that fulfill multiple requirements.

CSU has also put a focus on implementing the latest nursing technology, allowing students to practice in state-of-the-art simulation labs and get hands-on experience using EKG, electronic thermometers, blood pressure and fetal monitors, and high-fidelity mannequins. Nursing students are also highly prepared to pass their National Council Licensure Examinations (NCLEX) with a first-time pass rate exceeding the national average of 87%.

To learn more about CSU’s nursing programs and use of early clinical rotations to increase student learning and efficiency, visit here.

Grant Provides Path to Nursing for American Indian Students at Cal State San Marcos

Grant Provides Path to Nursing for American Indian Students at Cal State San Marcos

Five American Indian students are attending the California State University (Cal State) San Marcos School of Nursing through a recently awarded grant called Graduating American Indians into Nursing (GAIN). The grant covers tuition, books, fees, and a stipend of $1,500 per month for each student.

Dr. Deborah Morton, an assistant professor of public health and co-principal investigator on the grant identified the potential students for the program. Dr. Denise Boren, co-principal investigator and director of the Cal State San Marcos School of Nursing will step down from her director role at the end of the academic year to focus on grants and more direct involvement with GAIN students.

Dr. Boren tells “Nurses spend so much time with patients. It’s really important to have nurses who understand the American Indian culture.” This is one of the reasons for the grant, helping provide American Indian students with a path to pursue a nursing degree and improve healthcare for American Indians as these students graduate into the profession. Dr. Morton also commented on the benefits of the grant: “We have a nursing shortage in California and we have more American Indians than any other state. It was a great opportunity for us.”

One of the requirements of the grant is that students spend an equal amount of time working in an Indian Health Service clinic upon graduation as a form of scholarship payback. This means committing three years of their time after graduation, which aligns perfectly with grant goal of helping improve healthcare for American Indians.

To learn more the GAIN grant and the American Indian recipients pursuing nursing degrees at Cal State San Marcos, visit here.

Loma Linda University School of Nursing Seeks Early-Career PhD Candidates

Loma Linda University School of Nursing Seeks Early-Career PhD Candidates

After two years of improvements to their nursing program, including distance learning and enhanced flexibility, the Loma Linda University School of Nursing is seeking an early-career cohort of PhD applications. The nursing school is looking for applicants in their 20s and 30s to output a greater number of nurses who can sustain a longer career in nursing research they are passionate about.

Ellen D’Errico, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, an associate professor who oversees the PhD program tells, “Our graduates get to further their career as health care leaders or get involved in academia as researchers, faculty, and developing the next generation of nurses, which many people find exhilarating and rewarding.”

The university spent two years retooling the PhD program after examining how to best serve potential students, including lessening demand for face-to-face only teaching methods. New doctoral candidates will only be required to spend a few days on campus per quarter, and more distance learning options are in the works for future students. Program administrators hope the revised PhD program will appeal to a larger pool of qualified applicants who want a flexible program that will allow them to work as nurse scientists, leaders, and faculty after completing their degree.

Two PhD nursing programs are offered: Master’s Entry PhD and Post-Baccalaureate PhD. For more information on Loma Linda University’s PhD nursing programs, visit here.


Focus on the Sim Lab: How Patients with Disabilities are Helping Train Villanova’s Nursing Students

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