Expanded degree program may ease nursing shortfall

Expanded degree program may ease nursing shortfall

Nursing students Roxanne Masserat and Gilma Santamaria check the breathing of a technologically advanced mannequin.Students Maika Tugnao, John Orial and Gilma Santamaria team up to work on a patient in the mock emergency room during class.Nursing faculty Ming Fang Wang works with students in the simulated lab.Nursing students Maika Tugnao and John Orial get help from nursing professor Mary Ann Shinnick.

Cal State L.A. has been selected by the
California State University Board of Trustees to begin planning for a joint
Doctor of Nursing Practice pilot program to launch as early as fall 2012.

The addition of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program will
enable Cal State L.A. and its partnering universities, Cal State Fullerton and
Cal State Long Beach, to start addressing California’s pressing need for nurses
and nursing faculty. A key challenge in addressing the state’s shortfall in
nursing has been the limited number of slots available for students in programs,
which is directly tied to a limited number of individuals qualified to serve as
nursing faculty, industry leaders say.

“Cal State L.A. has many qualities that will contribute to
the richness of a Doctor of Nursing Practice program. We have a long history in
graduate education and advanced practice, and subsequently have accumulated
knowledge and experience in this area,” said
Cynthia Hughes, director of CSULA’s
School of Nursing. “We have a wonderfully diverse and motivated student body
from which to draw and ultimately contribute to enriching the diversity of
professional nursing at the advanced practice level.”

Cal State L.A. is one of many campuses in the California
State University system that is responsible for awarding 60 percent of the
bachelor’s level nursing degrees and many master’s degrees in the state. The CSU
was restricted from offering the tertiary level degree until recently, however,
when the state adopted
AB 867 (2010).

“We bring to the table an extensive network of established
clinical and educational resources, and a significant number of successful
alumni who are widely respected in the community and would support this endeavor
fully,” Hughes said.


Students ‘battle brains,’ the clock in collegiate

CSULA team members Yin Yin Chen, Alberto Gutierrez and Rafael Sanchez.

Computer science students Yin Yin Chen, Alberto Gutierrez and Rafael Sanchez made up one of three
CSULA teams in a “Battle of the Brains” computing competition. This group placed 36th out of 72 teams.

Equipped with their programming skills and mental
endurance, three teams of Cal State L.A’s
computer science students took on the
challenge of solving eight complex computer problems within a grueling five-hour
limit last fall.

The test of reasoning and computing skills was part of the
35th Annual Association for Computing Machinery’s “Battle of the
Brains” competition. Two of Cal State L.A.’s teams finished 16th and
36th overall—ranking them among the top 12 percent and 50 percent of
the region—in a competition that drew 72 teams from roughly two dozen
universities. A third CSULA team received honorable mention.

“Congratulations to our students for this impressive feat
to go head-to-head with [some of] the best collegiate programmers in Southern
California regional schools,” said Computer Science Professor
Raj Pamula, who
also coached the teams. “This is the most prestigious computer programming
competition of its kind.”

Problems in the competition cover a wide range of
application areas, including business data processing, engineering, text
handling and process optimization, among other areas, Pamula explained.

“The competition itself was an intense five-hour ‘programmathon,’
the most intense single programming session with a race against the clock,” said
student Rafael Sanchez, who was on a team that placed 36th. “The
programming problems were hard, but the time constraint made it nightmarish.”

Also participating in the competitions were students Sanmit
Narvekar and Alfonso Ortega, who took 16th place; Sanchez’s teammates
Yin Yin Chen and Alberto Gutierrez; and Michael Hsu and Mark Buising.


EPIC rallies to support others in need

A student volunteer sorts through toys during the EPIC Toy and Food Drive.

CSULA student volunteer Kenya Alba sorts out toys into age appropriate boxes during the EPIC Toy and Food Drive.

Cal State L.A. students, faculty and staff joined together
last year to help 65 needy families through its annual
Educational Participation
in Communities (EPIC)
Toy and Food Drive.

Collections from the campus community throughout the
holiday season resulted in gift boxes for 109 adults and 205 children in the
cities of Commerce, El Monte and Los Angeles.

“The EPIC office would like o thank the entire Cal State
L.A. campus for their donations, help and support,” EPIC Community Service
Learning Coordinator Ann Hong said. “We especially wouldn’t have been successful
without the help of our student volunteers.”

More than 80 Cal State L.A. students volunteered. (Did you
participate in EPIC when you were on campus? Tell us your story online at


The EPIC program at Cal State L.A. promotes community
service learning by creating opportunities for University students to implement
classroom theory in real-life situations. For more than 40 years, EPIC has
placed students in a wide range of agencies serving communities throughout the
Los Angeles area.


Governor’s budget calls for deep cuts

Facing an estimated $28 billion budget deficit, Governor
Jerry Brown released in January a 2011-12 state budget proposal that calls for a
$500 million reduction in state support for the
California State University

The proposed $2.2 billion in state support for the CSU is
equivalent to 1999-2000 funding levels, even though the university system
currently serves nearly 70,000 more students.

“While we understand the administration has limited
options, higher education is the state’s main economic driver, and we cannot
improve our economy without an educated workforce,” said CSU Chancellor Charles
B. Reed in a released statement. “The magnitude of the budget reductions in one
year will have serious impacts on the state’s economy, limit access for students
seeking entrance into our universities, and restrict classes and service for our
current students.”

The proposed $500 million reduction in state support for
the CSU is also a “best case” scenario, assuming a voter-approved extension of
temporary tax increases due to expire at the end of the fiscal year.

Stay up-to-date with the budget online at
CSU Budget Central.