A new partnership between California State University, Fresno and four Fresno-area hospital groups will allow Fresno State to train more nurses to meet the critical shortages in the Valley.

The three-year Nursing STAT partnership joins Fresno State with Kaiser Hospital, Saint Agnes Medical Center, Children’s Hospital Central California and Community Medical Centers. The hospitals will provide a total of $720,000 over three years to the College of Health and Human Services.

Each partner has committed $60,000 each year for three years to maintain and enhance increased nursing enrollments in an effort to address the critical nursing workforce shortage issues. The goal of the Nursing STAT partnership is to significantly increase the number of nurses available for employment.

The funding is needed because the annual cost of educating a BSN degree (bachelor of science in nursing) student exceeds the budget provided to the nursing department through state allocations, said Dr. Benjamin Cuellar, dean of the College of Health and Human Services.

“The Nursing STAT partnership will enable Fresno State to achieve long-term stability in planning for nursing admissions through 2006,” Cuellar said.

The college’s hospital partners are enthusiastic about the agreement.

“Saint Agnes Medical Center is proud to be a part of the Nursiwww.fresnostatenews.com

said Deborah Garorie-Jennings, vice president for Patient Care Services. “By partnering with the university, we will ensure the continued development of high quality graduate nurses which helps the community as a whole.”

Amy Tobin, RN, nurse executive for Kaiser Permanente Fresno, said, “The development of this partnership has been a truly collaborative effort that we believe will benefit the community for years to come. Because of the agreement, Fresno State’s existing program can be expanded to train more nurses and there will be increased opportunities for those interested in academic and management areas of nursing as well as direct patient care.”

For more information about the Nursing STAT program, contact Naomi Strom, Director of Development for the College of Health and Human Services, at

(559) 278-8570.

EDITORS and NEWS/PUBLIC AFFAIRS DIRECTORS: Press releases can be downloaded at www.fresnostatenews.com. University Relations also provides releases for news media companies via e-mail. To be added to the distribution list, send your e-mail address to tomu@csufresno.edu.