Regarding the article, "Nurses, Stat" (Jan. 19) and the shortage of nurses and education in Humboldt County, back in the late '60s and early '70s when I lived in the Bay Area, nursing education was what we called "climbing the ladder," similar to what you refer to as a "bridge" program.
The local unified school district offered a six-week nurses aide plan and a one-year Licensed Vocational Nurse program. After completing my college prerequisites, I was able to enroll in the community college in a one-year RN program tailored for LVNs. This was on the quarter system. From there, the local California State University offered a one-year Bachelors Degree curriculum for RNs.
One advantage of this setup is that a student can decide at any time whether she/he really wants to continue pursuing a nursing degree. This helps prevent a waste of time and money spent on a nursing education.
The article mentioned a need for collaborative effort between College of the Redwoods, Humboldt State University and local healthcare providers. I believe the example above is a good illustration of collaboration.
I hope a solution can be found to solve the nursing shortage crises.
Suzanne Crothers, McKinleyville