The College of Health and Human Services’ School of Nursing at Fresno State received a new grant to   help expand clinical outreach services to underserved areas in Fresno County. The Song-Brown program selected Fresno State to receive a $319,500 grant. Of that amount, $216,000 will go toward training nine additional students in the undergraduate nursing program and increasing the number of faculty within the School of Nursing.

“The Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing report indicates the need to have 80 percent of registered nurses obtain a Bachelor of Science degree by 2020. Fresno State is helping to reach this goal by educating nine additional nurses at this level with this grant money,” said Pilar De La Cruz-Reyes, director of the Central California Center for Excellence in Nursing. “Patients in hospitals are sicker today than in the past with shorter lengths of stay which requires nurses to utilize greater critical thinking and assessment skills. Receiving these grants from the Song-Brown Program will allow us to admit more students and expand new programs within the School of Nursing.”

The remaining $103,500 will be used to fund the Community Health Mobile Unit, an RV that will travel to areas with little access to health services. Expected to launch in September, the unit will include two exam rooms, giving rural communities free access to health education, immunizations, screenings and more.

Dr. Kathi Rindahl, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, spearheaded this program. She said that providing onsite mobile services will fill a void in health care access to the migrant community and provide valuable lessons to students. “This will place students in the perfect position to immerse themselves and be exposed to rural medicine. There are currently no nurses to serve the migrant community, but the need is huge.”

This is the second time this year the Song-Brown program has awarded funds to Fresno State. In January the school received another grant totaling nearly $300,000. A portion of that amount will go toward a new clinic at the Spirit of Woman facility, which will be used to train community health and nurse practitioner students.

Fresno State graduates about 120 BSN students annually, many of which will work in the clinic scheduled to open in August.

For more information, contact Melissa Tav at 559.278.8379.

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