California Healthline Highlights Recent Nursing News
Palomar Pomerado Health's board of directors on Monday will vote on a $2.5 million proposal to create the Palomar Pomerado Health Institute of Nursing and Education in San Marcos, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Under the proposal, San Marcos Ambulatory Care Center would be renovated to house the school. The health district's finance committee recommended spending $1.5 million to construct new classrooms, faculty offices, a computer lab and hands-on training labs and an additional $1 million for contractor, architect, permit and sign costs. Faculty from the nursing school at California State University-San Marcos would teach at the nursing school.
Lorie Shoemaker, the health district's chief nurse executive, said the proposal reflects Palomar Pomerado's commitment to addressing the nursing shortage (Lee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/12).
Also on Monday, the Kaweah Delta Health Care District and College of the Sequoias boards of trustees will discuss proposals to increase nursing enrollment by 130 students at the college by 2008, the Fresno Bee reports.
COS officials say they have been increasing student enrollment in the nursing program for several years to its current level of 200 students.
The planned increase is expected to cost $3.5 million, in part to hire additional professors.
Cindy DeLain, director of COS' Nursing and Allied Health Division, said the college is "going after grants and working with hospitals to get contributions."
DeLain said available space in the nursing program also is an issue and COS administrators are in the process of conducting a survey to analyze public opinion on whether a bond measure would be approved by voters. A $95-million bond measure that would have included funds to build a permanent nursing building at COS was defeated last year.
Trustees at the meeting Monday also will consider using the top floor of Kaweah Delta's new support services building as a skills lab for COS nursing students and a training lab for existing employees (Bragg, Fresno Bee, 3/14).
Summaries of two recent opinion pieces addressing state nurse staffing rules are provided below.
- Scott Crane, North County Times: The California Nurses Association has "been so vocal these last few months battling Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger" over state nurse-to-patient ratio rules because the union dues could increase under the new staffing rules, Scott Crane, a hospital executive, writes in a Times opinion piece. Having "paid their lobbyists in 1999" to win legislative support for the measure, CNA now will profit "from the additional nurses the hospitals must hire," who will be "forced to join the union," Crane writes. "Who pays for it? You and I do," Crane concludes (Crane, North County Times, 3/11).
- Mike Kirchubel, North County Times: The hospital industry's opposition to the new nurse staffing rules is motivated by "the bottom line," but the goal of California nurses is "a lower ratio so they can serve [patients] better," Kirchubel, a registered nurse and freelance writer, writes in a Times opinion piece. "Studies prove the lower the ratio, the better chance you have of surviving your hospitalization," Kirchubel writes, concluding, "It's obvious that nurses care more about you than the hospital owners or your governor" (Kirchubel, North County Times, 3/11).
KPCC's "Talk of the City" on Friday included an interview with Jim Lott, executive vice president of the Hospital Association of Southern California, about how visa restrictions on foreign nurses are affecting the nurse shortage in California (Felde, "Talk of the City," KPCC, 3/11). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.