CSU Stanislaus Receives Song-Brown State Nursing Grant

TURLOCK, Calif. — The School of Nursing at California State University, Stanislaus, has received grant funding for the fifth consecutive year through the Song-Brown Registered Nurse Education Program. The $240,000 grant will support the enrollment of additional students into the university's nursing program, benefiting a region that suffers from a shortage of nurses.

Out of 18 applicants in the competitive grant program, CSU Stanislaus was one of only two to receive the full funding amount. Funding is based on a number of criteria, including: performance by students on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), including overall and first-attempt pass rates; student retention; attracting and retaining minority students; and finding employment for students within Registered Nursing Shortage Areas.

"Our program excels in these criteria year after year," said Debbie Tavernier, director of the CSU Stanislaus School of Nursing. "It is important for us to graduate nurses who match our community's diversity, and for them to pass the NCLEX at the rate they do and consistently find employment in our region is phenomenal."

The Song-Brown program was established in 1973 under the California Health and Safety Code to increase the number of family physicians serving the state. The program is offered through the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

Due to state budget cuts, the CSU Stanislaus School of Nursing was forced to cut the number of admissions per year from 80 to 50 in 2008. The Song-Brown funding, which the university first received in 2009 and has received every year since, has allowed the school to restore 10 of those spots for a total of 60 students per year.

This round of funding will also be used to provide one-on-one mentoring for students, to support the school's nursing Boot Camp program, to support nursing faculty and staff, and to fund a new composition course for first-year, pre-nursing students. The course, an innovative collaboration between the School of Nursing and the university's Writing Program, will be developed in collaboration with nursing faculty and will be designed to better prepare nursing students for reading, writing and analyzing material both on tests and throughout their careers.

Past funding through the Song-Brown Program has enabled the School of Nursing to purchase a Community Health Simulation product and to hold two student-led Health Fair screenings to identify previously undetected blood pressure issues and high glucose levels in underserved residents in the community.