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State of California Awards Grant for Innovative Nursing Education

March 1, 2007 -- Mount Saint Mary’s University continues its tradition as a statewide leader in nursing education with a $273,000 state grant to expand its graduate nursing programs and to increase nursing school opportunities in designated underserved communities.

As part of his efforts to address California's ongoing nursing shortage, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced in late February that the Mount Saint Mary’s University grant is the second-highest amount of a total $3 million allocation to 16 nursing schools. The College will use the funds to increase enrollment in its Master of Science in Nursing program and to launch a clinical nurse instructor program that will train experienced nurses to provide clinical training to nursing students. The new clinical nurse instructor program will help address the nursing faculty shortage now facing schools throughout the nation by using the resources and clinical staff of hospitals and other medical clinics to provide critically important training to prospective nurses.

MSMU was among the first colleges in California to provide a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN) beginning in 1952 and continues to be an innovator in nursing education. Now, more than five decades later, the College also provides three additional nursing degrees to help meet the state's nurse shortage: the associate of arts in nursing (AND), the accelerated bachelor of science in nursing (AccBSN), and the master of science in nursing (MSN).

"Mount Saint Mary’s University is very proud to have been awarded this grant from the state to expand our signature Master of Science in Nursing program," said College President Jacqueline Powers Doud. "The College has a long history of serving the health needs of California by graduating exceptional nurses and nurse educators. This grant will assist us in continuing a tradition of excellence in nursing education."

According to Marsha Sato, director of the College's MSN program, the Los Angeles community is in great need of nurses with master's degrees to work directly in patient care and in leadership roles at local hospitals and clinics. "We want to expand our programs to continue to serve the community well," she said.

According to a release from the Governor's office, the grant funds are eligible under the Song-Brown Act of 1973 and are administered by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development through the California Healthcare Workforce Policy Commission. "As we focus on reforming California's broken health care system, we must ensure that we have the workforce to meet the growing demand for nurses. These grants will help expand enrollment in nursing programs and attract students from within the communities the nursing programs serve," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "Our goal is to increase nursing school opportunities, particularly in medically underserved communities, and improve the training of nurses so they can provide the highest quality of care."

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