As a professor in the HSU Department of nursing for almost 30 years, I think your editorial of Feb. 17 ("Nursing Our Wounds") expressed a hope for the continuation of a bachelor of nursing option in our area that I cannot share. During the last few years I have had a sense that support for the nursing program by upper levels of HSU's administration was weak at best.
Your editorial says HSU officials are working with community colleges to create a "bridge" program that would enable community college nursing graduates (ADNs) to receive bachelor's degrees (BSNs). But HSU's nursing program was discontinued, not suspended, which leads me to believe there is no intention of having a baccalaureate nursing presence on campus. Instead, it seems that associate degree students would have to rely on some sort of distance learning option provided by another CSU campus. Any plan should include the expertise and local knowledge if HSU nursing faculty.
It is essential for our region's health care system to have a pool of baccalaureate prepared nurses. Simply providing ADN's with access to distance learning from another CSU is not likely to make up for the loss of HSU grads. The University has an obligation to the community to make sure enough bachelor's prepared nurses are available. Despite HSU appearing to have consulted with the community, I don't believe their decision really provides the best option for the future health of the North Coast.
Local health care providers, other stakeholders and government representatives need to keep a close eye on the University and make themselves heard to assure HSU comes up with a viable plan in a timely manner, preferably before Humboldt's last BSN students graduate in a year and a half.
Beverly Nachem, Professor Emeritus, Trinidad