The Berkeley-based California Institute for Nursing & Health Care has nabbed a $500,000 grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, to help tackle the difficulties facing new nursing school graduates who can’t find jobs due to the troubled local economy.
The Institute said it will use the Moore Foundation funding for its RN Transition Program to be offered through local nursing schools and nurse employers. The Program will identify 250 talented RN graduates who have not yet found Bay Area nursing jobs and provide them with a 12-18-week post-licensure internship in either an acute or non-acute clinical setting.
Selected nurses will spend a minimum of 24 hours a week in the program.
Four regional collaboratives, lead by Samuel Merritt University and Kaiser Permanente; the University of San Francisco; California State University, East Bay, and the South Bay Transition Program Collaborative, will coordinate the effort.
"The employment issue for new graduates is a short-term problem," Nikki West, the program’s coordinator for CINHC, said in a March 22 statement. "Experienced nurses are postponing retirement and part-time nurses are taking more shifts than usual. So, new grads aren’t being hired at the moment. Once the economy picks up, we anticipate an unprecedented need for nurses. Our goal is to retain these new graduates in the local workforce."
The purpose of the RN Transition Program is to keep new graduates’ skills current, enhance their professional competencies and provide opportunities for them to gather experience in clinical settings, according to the Institute.
Samuel Merritt University and California State East Bay have enrolled participants and begun their programs, officials said, while USF and the South Bay collaborative will start their programs later this year.
The 10-year-old Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, started its Betty Irene Moore Nursing Initiative in 2003 to improve nursing-related patient outcomes in adult acute care hospitals in five Bay Area counties -- Alameda, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara.
In 2007, it expanded to include five Greater Sacramento counties: Amador, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo.