SF State renews partnership with Sequoia Healthcare District

SAN FRANCISCO, March 7, 2013 – San Francisco State University has reached an agreement with the Sequoia Healthcare District to fund a three-year extension of a successful nurse education program with a commitment totaling more than $1.69 million.  

The Sequoia Healthcare District Nurse Education Partnership has trained more than 350 students since its launch in 2004, its graduates serving the District’s residents in facilities throughout the region including Sequoia Hospital, San Mateo Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente Hospital, along with public schools, assisted living centers and nursing homes. The Partnership includes SF State, Cañada College of the San Mateo County Community College District and Sequoia Healthcare District.

A picture of the sign at SFSU.

Between 2014-17, the program will decrease its annual enrollment from 40 to 32 students. The changes in enrollment have been tailored to match projected nurse demand in the District, drawing from research by the SF State School of Nursing and others. While nurse retirements have slowed in the wake of the national economic recession, the demand for nurses is expected to rise again in the latter half of this decade.

A 2010 survey by the California Board of Registered Nursing, for example, found that more than 55 percent of California working nurses age 65 and older plan to retire in the next five years. The Board also noted that there will be a marked decrease in California nursing schools graduates by 2015.

In the past decade the Partnership has been successful in graduating 95 percent of its bachelor’s degree students graduating. Ninety-three percent of the program’s students also have passed the National Council Licensure Examination for new nurses, surpassing the state average of 89 percent.

“SF State appreciates the Sequoia Healthcare District’s ongoing support of nurse education,” said Lynette Landry, the director of the SF State School of Nursing. “The District is visionary in recognizing the connection between first-rate education and first-rate patient care, and we are honored to be a partner in this effort.”

Nurses with bachelor’s degrees are in high demand by hospitals and other healthcare centers, as the Institute of Medicine has found that patient safety increases relative to the education level of nurses. California nurses with bachelor’s degrees were more likely to be hired than their peers with associate degrees only, according to a 2011 state survey. 

The majority of students recently accepted into the Partnership come from the District, which includes the cities of Atherton, Belmont, Menlo Park, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Carlos, Woodside, and portions of San Mateo and Foster City from Skyline Boulevard to the Bay. The Partnership offers San Mateo County’s only bachelor’s degree in nursing.  SF State’s state-designated primary service areas include both San Francisco and San Mateo Counties.  

The program is housed at Cañada College, which provides the facilities and learning environment. The SF State School of Nursing provides the curriculum, faculty, academic support services and academic oversight.