Thanks to a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, San Diego State University and the SDSU-Imperial Valley campus are working to create a larger pool of diverse baccalaureate prepared nurses to serve the largely Hispanic population of Imperial County.
With the Health Resources and Services grant, the School of Nursing at SDSU-IV will bring together organizations from around Imperial County to provide an opportunity for 70 SDSU-IV nursing students, who come from a minority background, to get a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.
“This grant funding is critical to increasing the number of baccalaureate prepared RNs in Imperial County. It provides support for these nurses and encourages them to continue their education,” said, Philip Greiner, DNSc, RN, the program’s director.
This project is 100 percent federally funded, with more than 70 percent going directly to the students — including $375,000 over the course of three years to provide scholarships and stipends.
The program will prepare nursing students to provide care specific to the needs of Imperial Valley. Students will engage with local partners through the Imperial Valley Consortium for Nursing Workforce Development to address health-related concerns and increase awareness of cultural, ethnic, social, economic and political variables that influence health outcomes in Imperial County.
“Community partnerships are how we best tailor healthcare to meet the needs of the people we serve. In preparation for the Affordable Care Act, every community needs nurses who understand the communities in which they work,” said Greiner, who is also the director of the SDSU School of Nursing.
Participating organizations include health care institutions such as Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo, El Centro Regional Medical Center, Pioneers Memorial Hospital and other local and state partners, from Holtville Rotary to the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission.
Quality of care
Unique to the program’s curriculum, is instruction on the social determinants in health care, which can include education, unemployment, income, availability of healthy food and fitness opportunities. The program’s courses engage students in specific projects that require working within and bridging existing community partnerships.
“An important requirement of this grant is its emphasis of the social determinants of health, those health-related issues that influence a person’s ability to maintain health and function,” Greiner said.
“Community input and support around these issues will be a vital part of the education of these students.”
The SDSU Imperial Valley Consortium for Nursing Workforce Development grant was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — Health Resources and Services Administration for $1,012,045 million in July 2013.