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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

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Video: Growing Our Own Workforce of Nurses

SDSU Imperial Valley School of Nursing offers innovative programs to address nursing shortages in rural border areas of California.
By Rachel Crawford and Peggy Pico

San Diego State University’s Imperial Valley School of Nursing has developed new innovative opportunities and programs for nursing students to learn, live and ultimately work closer to home.


Many of the new programs were launched earlier this year with more than $8 million in funding and multiple regional partnerships. The timing is critical. California’s current nursing shortage is the largest in the U.S. and is expected to last until 2030, according to a recent report by the UCSF Health Workforce Research Center.


“You look at nurses as being the largest body of the workforce,” said assistant professor Helina Hoyt, associate director of the School of Nursing. “It’s important that we can have nurses understand their culture.” 


Underserved communities with multi language health needs are some of the hardest-hit areas in terms of attracting and retaining multicultural and Spanish-speaking nurses. 


“Pathways are really important in the rural border area of Imperial County,” said Hoyt. “We don't have enough nurses. We have learned that if we are able to grow them professionally, they stay.” 


More than 350,000 RNs currently work in California, which accounts for about 12% of all RNs employed nationwide. But that’s still not enough to meet the demands of the nursing workforce shortage. 


It’s why creating innovative pathways to help student nurses thrive in their own communities is more important than ever, said Hoyt. “That's our goal, to grow our own and help them be the leaders to solve the issues of today.”