Going Back to School, a Bright Idea!

Appeared in: Inside KP-Northern California

By: Susan McDonough

If September has you thinking "back to school," here are a few programs to consider:

  • The accelerated bachelor’s of science in nursing (ABSN) program at Samuel Merritt College

The ABSN program allows people who hold a bachelor's degree in another field to receive a bachelor’s of science in nursing in 12 months. Students must have completed a variety of science prerequisites before enrolling.

The ABSN program is available at the college's main campus in Oakland and at satellite centers in Sacramento, San Francisco, and San Mateo. Nearly 140 students have completed the program since it was introduced in May 2005, and an additional 1,091 students are expected to enroll and graduate by 2011.

The program is funded in part by a $5.5 million grant from the Kaiser Permanente Fund for Health Education. The fund was created by KP to invest in programs that will increase the number of nurses in Northern California, addressing the nursing shortage.

A California Board of Registered Nursing report projects the state will be short as many as 120,000 nurses by 2030, even with the opening of new nurse training programs.

A 2006 survey of registered nurses by the state RN board reports that the average nurse in California earns nearly $74,000 a year, with many more nurses, 34 percent precisely, earning more than $80,000 annually. The same report shows nurses are generally satisfied with their jobs and the profession.

For more information about the Samuel Merritt ABSN program, visit the school's Web site or call 800-607-6377.

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