Generic BSN Program Updates
By Darlene Finocchiaro PhD, RN, CRRN Associate Director and BSN chair
Last year we welcomed 63 new students for the class of 2019, as well as new courses and curriculum changes brought on by semester conversion. Although many courses only required simply unit conversion, content from several “quarter” courses were assimilated into one semester course. This was partly due to the CSU mandate to graduate students with a Bachelor’s Degree in 120 semester units, requiring a significant drop in units from 195 quarter units to 180 quarter or 120 semester units. Major changes included our first semester “Fundamentals” theory and clinical, which covers basic care, therapeutic communication, and professional practice issues. The clinical component focuses on these areas while concentrating on physical assessment skills in the hospital setting. Other changes include “Care Management” which combines case management with leadership/management dynamics, as well as additional units for pharmacology and nursing informatics. These new additions and changes to the curriculum will help our students become better clinicians and stronger leaders in the community.
Outside the classroom, our students are making a difference. During the month of March, Alpha Tau Delta (ATD) members helped and facilitated the City of Hope “Be the Match Marrow Drive.” Recruiting 72 new registry members from Cal State LA over two days was noted as being “very successful” by the City of Hope organizers. It was exciting to see so many of the senior class participate as donors, which contributed to this event’s success.
Another big event was the 11th annual Patricia A. Chin School of Nursing/ Sigma Theta Tau, Nu Mu Chapter Evidence Based Practice Forum held in February. There were close to 400 in attendance. Jennifer Waldron, RN, BSN, MICN, MBA-HCM from Huntington Hospital in Pasadena spoke on responding to natural and man-made disasters, followed by Anna Munoz, DNP, MPH, CNS-BC, RNC-NIC from Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, who shared about the importance of evacuation training in a neonatal intensive care unit. Based on evaluations, students, faculty, and community members felt these topics were important and enjoyed the presentations. This year more time was allowed for poster viewing. This was also a plus, as there were 19 outstanding posters and plenty of time to speak to the presenters and ask questions.
In May, 57 of our generic students graduated and had their “pinning ceremony.” Although it is always a tradition to recognize and pin the graduating seniors, the Patricia A. Chin School of Nursing (PACSON) started a new tradition which welcomes our new class into the Profession of Nursing. This was initiated in September 2016, after receiving a $1,000 grant from the Gold Foundation–AACN for the “White Coat Ceremony.” Traditionally this has been done with incoming medical school students, but Schools of Nursing have taken on this tradition in recent years. The students found it to be very moving and special as they put on their PACSON lab coat for the first time, assisted by a senior class leader. A beautiful reception preceded the ceremony, followed by inspiring welcomes from our University President, Dr. William Covino, and Dean of the Rongxiang Xu College of Health and Human Services, Dr. Ron Vogel. Susan De Pietro, JD, MN, RN was the key note speaker, emphasizing what the White Coat ceremony represents: compassion, quality care, dignity, and respect for the person. In 2016, Cal State LA was one of 50 schools selected to receive funding for this event. The tradition continued this past September, welcoming the Class of 2020.
Our externship programs with Kaiser and Cedars Sinai continues to thrive. This summer 19 students from the junior class worked closely with an RN (professional partner) at either Kaiser Downey or Baldwin Park, increasing their skills and also learning and participating in leadership projects. Our externship program with Cedars consists of a 2 semester perioperative elective course with theory and clinical components. This year, it will be 2 continuous semesters which will contribute to better retention of knowledge and skill as well as preparation for the future role of an OR Nurse.
The Chin School of Nursing continues to receive new scholarship opportunities for our students, through both outside organizations and the University. We appreciate the generosity from all of our donors. The Olga Orloff Nursing Scholarship has been awarded to an incoming Cal State LA nursing student for the last 5 years. The new recipient for 2017 is Airene Alvarino. Yuh Wen Tseng, Ho Jae Shin, Gelito Pajarillage, and Vyvayan Huynh were previous recipients, shown with the donor family, following a luncheon celebration at the University Club.
Cal State LA nursing students have also received many scholarships this year from outside the University, including the Dolores Jones Kaiser Scholarship. We congratulate all of our scholarship recipients!