Category Archives: California (CA) P

Dec 5 2013
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California State University Feels the Pain of Nurse Faculty Shortage

Mirroring national trends, the California State University (CSU) system is turning away qualified nursing school applicants due to faculty shortages, reports the Los Angeles Daily News, and CSU officials fear that the situation will worsen the nurse shortage in a state that already has one of the country’s lowest numbers of nurses per capita.

This fall, CSU Long Beach had a nursing program acceptance rate of 18 percent, having received 450 applications for 82 slots. CSU Northridge had a “very highly qualified” pool of 300 applicants but could only accept 60. CSU Chico had to turn down 86 percent of its fully qualified applicants, while CSU San Marcos turned away nearly 89 percent.

“Let me put it this way, we have over 1,200 pre-nursing students,” Dwight Sweeney, interim chairman of nursing at CSU San Bernardino, told the Daily News. “I can only take about 108 a year. In the fall, we had over 600 applicants for 44 positions. Realistically, we are turning away people with 3.6 and 3.7 GPAs. And I think that story is playing out on CSU campuses everywhere.”

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Aug 20 2013
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New ADN-to-BSN Scholar: 'Exhausted' and 'Grateful'

Ariel Eby is a scholar in the new ADN-to-BSN bridge program at California State University, Los Angeles, which is funded by the California Action Coalition through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) initiative. The California Action Coalition is a part of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a collaborative effort backed by RWJF and AARP to transform nursing and improve health and health care.

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I never thought it was possible to be so exhausted and so grateful at the same time. These last few years have proven to be the most challenging of my life, but the most rewarding at the same time.

"I want to spend the rest of my life eating, drinking, living, learning, and teaching nursing."

When I say I'm exhausted, I'm not exaggerating. When I first heard about the debut of the ADN-to-BSN bridge program at California State University-Los Angeles, I didn’t think there was any way I could make it work. I have three jobs. I’m already in a program getting my associate degree in nursing (ADN)—and am getting married later this summer, the day after the first quarter ends. “There's no way!” I thought. 

But where there's a will there’s a way, I'd soon find out.

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Aug 19 2013
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New ADN-to-BSN Program the 'Key to a Successful Future'

Robyn Williams is a scholar in the new ADN-to-BSN bridge program at California State University, Los Angeles, which is funded by the California Action Coalition through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) initiative. The California Action Coalition is a part of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a collaborative effort backed by RWJF and AARP to transform nursing and improve health and health care.

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When I first heard about the accelerated ADN-to-BSN program at California State University, Los Angeles, my ears perked up and I was instantly very interested. Having the chance to pursue my bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) while finishing my associate degree in nursing (ADN) at Long Beach City College was ideal.

I had already planned to start working toward obtaining my bachelor’s soon after I graduated and had even looked into some programs. So, the option to join this accelerated program at Cal State LA, as we call it out here, was a no-brainer.

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Jul 8 2013
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Dental Benefits to be Restored for Low-Income Californians

In 2009, budget shortfalls spurred California lawmakers to eliminate virtually all dental benefits under its Adult Denti-Cal program, leaving millions in the state without adequate dental care. But in late June, Governor Jerry Brown signed a budget that restores virtually all of those dental benefits to the 3 million low-income Californians who qualify for the program.

The 2013-2014 state budget also expands other health care services for low-income Californians through an expansion of the state’s Medicaid program (Medi-Cal) under the Affordable Care Act. An estimated 1.6 million additional Californians will receive coverage under this expansion by 2015.

The dental benefits won’t be available until May 1, 2014, but California Dental Association President Lindsey Robinson, DDS, issued a statement called it a significant achievement. “We look forward to working with the administration to effectively implement Adult Denti-Cal, a vital service that will benefit the health of millions of Californians,” she said.

Read more about the state budget in the Fresno Bee.
Read the California Dental Association news release.

Aug 23 2012
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Nine States Receive RWJF Grants to Build More Highly Educated Nursing Workforce

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) program this week announced that California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Washington state have been chosen to receive grants to advance state and regional strategies aimed at creating a more highly educated, diverse nursing workforce. Each state will receive a two-year, $300,000 grant. 

The states will now work with academic institutions and employers on implementing sophisticated strategies to help nurses get higher degrees in order to improve patient care and help fill faculty and advanced practice nursing roles.  In particular, the states will encourage strong partnerships between community colleges and universities to make it easier for nurses to transition to higher degrees.

In its groundbreaking report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that 80 percent of the nursing workforce be prepared at the baccalaureate level or higher by the year 2020.  At present, about half of nurses in the United States have baccalaureate or higher degrees.

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Jun 20 2012
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Specialized Hospital Units for Elderly Provide Shorter Stays, Lower Costs

Hospital units designed specifically for the care of older patients could save as much as $6 billion a year, a study from the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) finds. In a randomized controlled trial, patients in “acute care for elders units” had shorter hospital stays and incurred lower hospital costs than patients in traditional inpatient hospital settings. At the same time, patients’ functional abilities were maintained, and hospital readmission rates did not increase.

The Acute Care for Elders program (ACE) relies on a specially trained interdisciplinary team, which can include geriatricians, advanced practice nurses, social workers, pharmacists, and physical therapists. The team assesses patients daily, and nurses are given an increased level of independence and accountability.

“Part of what ACE does is improve communication and decrease work. And that’s a strategy that’s generally popular with lots of folks involved,” Seth Landefeld, MD, senior author and chief of the UCSF Division of Geriatrics, said. “What we found was that ACE decreased miscommunication and it decreased the number of pages nurses had to make to doctors. Having people work together actually saved people time and reduced work down the line.”

The study was published in the June 2012 issue of Health Affairs.

Read the study.

Read the UCSF story.

Read a Fierce Healthcare story on the study.

Apr 27 2012
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Project SHAPE LA: Nurse Faculty Scholar Alum Aims to Help Children Get Active

Kynna Wright-Volel, PhD, RN, MPH, PNP-BC, FAAN, an assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nurse Faculty Scholar alumna, recently won a five-year, $1.2 million grant funded jointly by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Nursing Research and Office of Behavioral Social Science Research. She will use the grant to work with the Los Angeles Unified School District to launch Project SHAPE LA™, a coordinated school-health program designed to increase physical activity among youth in Los Angeles County schools.

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Human Capital Blog: Please share your vision for Project Shape LA™, what its goals are and how many children and teens it will reach.

Kynna Wright-Volel: Project SHAPE LA™ targets 24 middle schools in underserved areas of Los Angeles and will touch nearly 12,000 students. With this grant, we want physical education teachers to ignite a passion for physical activity – to teach kids that by being active, they can be healthy and achieve their dreams. Anticipated outcomes from this program include: increased moderate to vigorous physical activity; increased scores on the California State Board of Education’s FitnessGram Test in the areas of aerobic fitness, body composition and muscular strength/endurance; and increased academic achievement, as evidenced by higher scores on the California standardized test.

HCB: Why is a project like this needed in your community?

Wright-Volel: According to the L.A. County Department of Public Health, one in five children in the Los Angeles Unified School District is considered obese. Health inequities exist as well; children who are racial and ethnic minorities and/or come from families with low incomes have higher rates of obesity.

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Apr 24 2012
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Hospital Pricing for Appendectomy Varies Widely, RWJF Scholar Finds

An appendectomy in California could cost anywhere from $1,500 to more than $180,000, even at the same hospital or within the same county, according to a study led by RWJF Physician Faculty Scholar Renee Y. Hsia, MD, MSc. The study, published this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found wide variations in fees for the routine procedure, about one-third of which could not be explained even after reviewing all the cases and accounting for individual health variations.

“We expected to see variations of two or three times the amount, but this is ridiculous,” Hsia told the New York Times. “There’s no rhyme or reason for how patients are charged or how hospitals come up with charges… There’s no other industry where you get charged 100 times the same amount, or 121 times, for the same product.”

Among the other media outlets to report on the study’s findings: ABC News, ABC News Radio, The Associated Press/Washington Post, CBS News and Fox News.

Read the study.

See the stories that ran on ABC World News and CBS Evening News.

Read a post Hsia wrote for the RWJF Human Capital Blog about ambulance diversion and emergency department crowding.

Mar 7 2012
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California Action Coalition Shares Secrets of Success

By California Action Coalition Statewide Director Mary Dickow, MPA

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Over the past 16 months, the California Action Coalition has been engaged in a variety of activities to move the work of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Future of Nursing report ahead in our state. As one of the first five pilot states selected to host Action Coalitions, we have had the opportunity to test a few ideas that have been met with success, and we have had opportunities for growth. We feel the lessons we have learned during this period can contribute to the success of other states as they roll out their Action Coalition activities and to all of us who want to get the word out about this groundbreaking report.

One of our most successful initiatives has been overseeing “town hall”-style events to inform a broad audience of our work and to interest new volunteers to join our growing ranks across the state. The Action Coalition held its second statewide town hall event in Los Angeles on February 27, 2012. This “sold out” event, entitled: Partner With Nurses for a Healthy California, was held at the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. More than 110 people, including nurses, students, health professionals, consumers and representatives from area businesses and associations, registered for the event.

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Jan 12 2012
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Action Coalitions at Work: California

The California Action Coalition has brought together nursing and physician organizations, educational institutions, government agencies and workforce centers to advance the recommendations in the Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.

Watch California Action Coalition co-leads Deloras Jones, RN, MS, and Terry Hill, MD, FACP, discuss the goals for their state. This video is part of a series released by The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, highlighting the goals and the ongoing work of some of its state-based collaborations that are working to implement change.

Read more about the Action Coalitions.

See our previous coverage of the Action Coalition video series.