Cal State Fullerton’s degree programs open career doors for nursing students – Orange County Register

Established in 1974, Cal State Fullerton’s School of Nursing within the College of Health and Human Development is committed to providing highly competitive nursing education programs for Titan students.

Now celebrating its 50th year, CSUF offers a range of nursing program options, including a variety of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree paths. And with a strong reputation for local job placement, those looking for a career in nursing will find the support they need at CSUF to achieve their goals.

“We take pride in that most of our students get employed within three months of graduation,” said CSUF School of Nursing Director Penny Weismuller. “Our local hospitals, where they have been going to clinical, say they like Cal State Fullerton nurses. And we have traditionally been in that 95% to 100% pass rate on the first take (of the NCLEX nursing licensure exam). Hospitals want to hire our students.”

One of the more popular bachelor’s degree programs in the School of Nursing is the RN-BSN pathway, a track that is specifically for those students who have completed a nursing associate’s degree at a local community college and have already taken and passed the nursing licensure exam. The RN-BSN option partners with local community colleges to provide a streamlined path for students to earn their bachelor’s degree without having to repeat any of the curriculum they have already completed.

“It’s been shown that as hospitals get a higher percentage of baccalaureate-prepared nurses, patient safety increases,” Weismuller said. “American Nursing Association, American Hospital Association, they are looking for hospitals that primarily have those nurses with a baccalaureate.”

Titan alumnus Jose Llanas took advantage of this pathway, and after completing his associate’s degree from Pasadena City College and passing the nursing licensure exam in 2018, he enrolled in CSUF’s RN-BSN program. Llanas found a setting that helped him develop in other aspects of nursing beyond the clinical training.

Cal State Fullerton alumnus Jose Llanas (Courtesy of CSUF News Media Services)
Cal State Fullerton alumnus Jose Llanas (Courtesy of CSUF News Media Services)

“Nursing is a very unique discipline where the public only sees a nurse as a clinical person,” Llanas said. “But Fullerton did such a good job with the students at distinguishing that we are clinical, but we are also scholarly, we are also academic, we are also professional, we are also leaders. For me personally, in my education, that was the biggest benefit.”

The clinical hours that Llanas logged in the RN-BSN program were in public health, a setting that offered him a different perspective on being a nurse.

“It really illustrated to me that nonclinical professional aspect of being a nurse where you’re running the meetings and you’re meeting with patients who are not in a gown attached to an IV pole,” Llanas said.

Llanas also saw significant growth in his writing skills, another aspect of the nursing career path he feels is often overlooked.

“Because the core of nursing is so clinical, writing is not something that a lot of us as students pay attention to,” Llanas said. “If you’re a good, prolific writer, that makes you just that much more strong of a nurse because you’re able to communicate much more effectively. Fullerton was able to help me refine my writing and give me a solid foundation.”

CSUF will be able to support more students like Llanas as the School of Nursing recently received a $5 million grant from CalOptima Health that will specifically support the university’s RN-BSN pathway. The five-year initiative includes a commitment to increased collaboration with community college partners, as well as the funding of stipends to CSUF nursing students in their last two semesters of study.

“A large portion of our program is to bring these nurses to a more complex level of practice and provide additional skills and ways of looking at their role as a professional nurse,” Weismuller said. “We wanted to attract more students and provide them the opportunity to get their baccalaureate more quickly.”

Llanas, who is a first-generation college student, graduated from CSUF with his BSN in 2020 and will finish his master’s of science in nursing from UCLA next month. All the while, he has worked as an oncology nurse at City of Hope, and he credits his time at CSUF for giving him the skill set to take on new roles at the hospital, including teaching a discharge class for caregivers and patients who receive bone marrow transplants and undertaking a quality improvement program on early discharge for patients admitted for chemotherapy.

“Having direct access to the faculty (at CSUF) and the fact that they spend time with you one-on-one really helped me grow academically,” Llanas said. “I have a big sense of pride and confidence in being able to undertake more than direct care nursing, A nurse can be in any setting. They can be in scrubs. They can be in a suit. They can be in a boardroom. They can be in a lab. And I feel like it was Fullerton that showed me that this is possible.”

#Cal #State #Fullertons #degree #programs #open #career #doors #nursing #students #Orange #County #Register

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *