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$10,000,000 Sequoia Healthcare District Nursing Education Program
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by Jack Hickey, Woodside: Emerald Hills,
on Oct 13, 2012
With 8 years into the program and 2 years remaining, the Sequoia Healthcare District Board of Directors will be meeting at 4:30 P.M. on October 30, 2012 to discuss the program's future. From information provided by Sequoia Hospital, we find that of nearly 320 nursing graduates, only 80 were hired by Sequoia Hospital with 64 still employed there. Information on the whereabouts of the other graduates is apparently unknown, except that 9 of them were said to have obtained employment in Palm Springs.
It has been my contention that the $25,000 District subsidy of each nurse's education should have instead been financed by loans from the California Nurses Association, which could easily have collected repayment regardless of where the nurses were employed.
In order to preserve District assets, subsidy of this Program should be terminated as soon as possible. With dissolution of the Sequoia Healthcare District those assets would then pass on to our schools, fire districts, etc.
RATIONALE FOR THE PROGRAM See: Web Link
"To prepare a ready supply of registered nurses for our community, the Sequoia Healthcare District created a unique partnership among Cañada College, San Francisco State University (SFSU), and Sequoia Hospital with the goal of producing 300-400 new nurses for this region over the next ten years. The first cohort began in September 2004. Graduates of the program will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree."
"The Sequoia Healthcare District is underwriting the program in the amount of $1M per year and has provided $650,000 for a state-of-the-art nursing skills lab on the Cañada College campus."
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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Feb 12, 2013 at 12:48 pm
Sequoia Healthcare District Boardmember, Katie Kane said: "Since its' inception more than 320 registered nurses have graduated and the majority work locally." Web Link
She was mistaken.
There were only 253 graduates out of 270 students who completed the course.
Monitors of the program report that only 144 graduates are recorded as being employed as nurses. Of those, Sequoia Hospital has 64, Kaiser RWC has 5 and schools in the District have 4.
Thirty percent of Sequoia Hospital patients reside outside the Sequoia Healthcare District. Kaiser RWC numbers are similar.
Only 70% of the service provided by those 69 nurses benefits District residents. That makes the total benefit to District residents 52.3 nurses. The 270 students who completed the course cost Sequoia Healthcare District taxpayers $6,750,000. In return we got $1,307,500 worth of nursing services.
In spite of these facts, the Sequoia Healthcare District Board of Directors approved continued funding of the program.
Here's their Press Release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 8, 2013
Contact: Don Shoecraft • Sequoia Healthcare District • Public Information
THREE-YEAR UNIVERSITY NURSING EXTENSION BY SEQUOIA HEALTHCARE DISTRICT WILL ADD 96 TO NURSING COHORT
REDWOOD CITY, CA/FEB. 6, 2013 Directors of Sequoia Healthcare District and representatives of San Francisco State University (State) and the San Mateo County Community College District Wednesday reached agreement on a final three-year extension of a 10 year-old program that has allowed more than 250 nursing students to obtain advanced bachelor's degrees, with many returning to jobs within the Sequoia Healthcare District.
Annual support of $1 million from the district to the nursing baccalaureate partnership will be reduced by approximately half. State School of Nursing administrators said student tuition and fees for the program have been increasing for years. Three-year cost to Sequoia Healthcare District will be $1.69 million.
Demand for nurses in medical professions in California is cyclical. One of the reasons Sequoia Healthcare District directors reevaluated the program is the fact that demand has entered a down cycle while the 10 year-old contractual obligation of the district to fund the program was fixed at 40 students per year. The national economic recession is a major reason for this as retirement-age nurses with jobs are holding onto them longer.
The School of Nursing presented evidence that the cycle is on the brink of reversing, because as the economy improves, older nurses retire and Baby Boomers reach age 65 in the next few years the need for nurses may once again become critical.
At the time Sequoia Healthcare District created the program the district owned Sequoia Hospital, which could not find enough qualified nurses to fill available jobs. It has been extremely successful in meeting its goal. Ninety-five percent of bachelor's degree students have graduated, with 93 percent passing the National Council Licensure Examination compared to the state average of 89 percent.
More than half of partnership graduates serve district residents at Sequoia Hospital and at facilities such as San Mateo Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Redwood City, Stanford Hospital, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, public schools, assisted living centers, nursing care facilities and others.
The new agreement will pay 56 percent of student tuition for 32 students per year for three years.
Sequoia Healthcare District directors also agreed to form a subcommittee of the board to follow the program for a year and report periodically on its status.
In a subsequent statement the university commended Sequoia Healthcare District for its past and future support.
"SF State appreciates the Sequoia Healthcare District's ongoing support of nurse education. 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," said Lynette Landry, RN, PhD; Director, San Francisco State University School of Nursing
Last on Wednesday's agenda was reorganization of the board. Gerald Shefren, M.D., was elected to a one-year term as board president, succeeding Kim Griffin, a pediatric cardiology nurse. Arthur Faro, retired chief executive of Sequoia Hospital, was elected vice-president. Director Katie Kane, a human services professional, was returned as board secretary.
Sequoia Healthcare District provides major funding to numerous non-profit community health organizations that directly assist more than 50,000 women, children and seniors in 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.