By City News Service
A need for more nurses across the state has been compounded by the lack of faculty to train students looking to enter the field, Cal State University officials said in remarks published Monday.
The federal Bureau of Health Professions ranks California 46th in the nation when it comes to nurses per capita, at 743 registered nurses per 100,000 people, and CSU administrators say the problem could worsen in the years to come, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported.
"Let me put it this way. We have over 1,200 pre-nursing students," Dwight Sweeney, interim chairman of nursing at Cal State San Bernardino, told the newspaper. "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."
Cal State Long Beach received 450 applications for 82 spots this fall, an acceptance rate of just 18 percent. Cal State Northridge had about 300 applicants for its accelerated bachelor's of nursing program, accepting 60 from "a very highly qualified pool of applicants," Marianne Hattar-Pollara, nursing program director, told the Daily News.
Cal State Chico couldn't admit 86 percent of its fully qualified nursing applicants, and Cal State San Marcos turned away almost 89 percent, according to the newspaper.
"The issue is that you can't expand until you have more faculty, and you can't have more faculty until you have the money to pay them," Margaret Brady, professor in the School of Nursing at Cal State Long Beach, told the Daily News. That means not only hiring more faculty but paying them more, CSU officials said.