HSU Lauds Launch of New Nursing Program


Humboldt State University - FILE
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Humboldt State University announced its nursing program will begin this fall, hailing the formal launch as a “milestone moment for healthcare here on the North Coast.”

Under the program, graduating College of the Redwoods nursing students will be able to transfer to HSU to complete their bachelors of science degree without leaving the region, which has long struggled to recruit and retain nurses and other healthcare professionals.

Nurses already practicing in the area will also be able to enroll.

The first cohort of nurses is expected to graduate in 2022, just more than a decade after HSU shuttered its previous program amid a 2011 budget crunch and five years after HSU and CR began working on creating a transfer program.

“I am eager to meet and work with these students,” Kimberly Perris, the nursing program’s director, said in a release. “Our first cohorts will be instrumental in co-creating a program that addresses the unique needs of our North Coast communities.”

Read the full HSU release below: 
After years of planning and fund-raising, Humboldt State University is set to launch the new Bachelors of Science in Nursing program this fall. It is a milestone moment for healthcare here on the North Coast.

Humboldt State University and Senator Mike McGuire, who along with College of the Redwoods created a partnership to establish the North Coast Nursing Program, are proud to announce the University is accepting student applications!

“This is a milestone day for the North Coast. Three years ago we came together in a groundbreaking partnership to strengthen our local healthcare systems and create family sustaining careers. The formal launch of the Nursing Program at HSU and CR’s LVN program in Crescent City came about thanks to the 100% partnership between Humboldt State University and the College of the Redwoods along with generous community donors,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “We know these programs will help drive down the cost of healthcare and educate the next generation of nurses throughout the greater North Coast Region.”

The HSU program allows nurses graduating from CR to continue their education without having to leave the community. It is also designed for nurses in the region who would like to seek an advanced degree to obtain additional skills and training.

Blending in-person and online coursework, the hybrid program will allow registered nurses with an associate’s degree to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

The coursework is designed to accommodate working nurses, and the first cohort will graduate in May 2022.

“I am eager to meet and work with these students,” says Kimberly Perris, Nursing program director. “Our first cohorts will be instrumental in co-creating a program that addresses the unique needs of our North Coast communities.”

The programs would not have been possible without the generous support from the regions’ Health Care Organizations and the Humboldt Area Foundation.

“We are profoundly blessed to have played a role in helping bring back the HSU Bachelor of Science in Nursing program,” said Roberta Luskin-Hawk, MD, chief executive, St. Joseph Health, Humboldt County. “Our $2 million dollar grant will help support a program that will contribute to the advanced education of the next generation of nurses and nursing leaders in Humboldt County, sustaining the rich legacy of caring for our founding Sisters chartered a century ago.”

“The program not only addresses an important workforce need, but its design and focus is a reflection of our region,” says Shawna Young, Dean of the College of Professional Studies.

The program is designed to prepare nurse leaders to practice cultural humility, responsive to rural areas populated by diverse communities, including indigenous communities. The program has a focus on addressing health disparities, rural health needs, and behavioral health, which includes substance use disorder, mental health, and historical trauma.

The program format allows part-time students to complete the program in 21 months and full-time students complete the program in 11 months; both models include summer sessions. On-site training will take place at healthcare facilities throughout the region.

“Many of the students who have inquired about the BSN program are registered nurses who have worked in the community for years,” Perris says. “They seek leadership skills to improve healthcare for the patients they serve. These nurses know first-hand the barriers their patients face and the challenges of our remote and rural regions. This program will provide nurses with the opportunity to research and apply solutions to address those challenges.”

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