News

UW Bothell Nursing Program Works to Alleviate Statewide Nursing Shortage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 14, 2008
CONTACT: Elizabeth Fischtziur - (425) 352-3636 - efischtziur@uwb.edu

BOTHELL, Wash. - With a statewide nursing shortage looming and the need to educate nurses a priority, the Nursing Program at the University of Washington Bothell is working to improve Washington state's health care forecast.  The program recently received a $286,899 Department of Education Noncompetitive Congressionally-directed Grant in support of its "Initiative to Train Nursing Faculty in Partnership with a Consortium of Colleges."

Created in response to growing state needs for a highly educated health care and nursing workforce, the Initiative aims to increase the number of nursing faculty teaching in Washington state's community and technical college nursing programs. By educating the next generation of nursing faculty, the Initiative will directly contribute to the education and increased numbers of highly skilled nurses practicing in our state.

The Initiative will meet these goals by:
1. Developing a consortium with area community and technical college nursing programs which will help to identify, recruit and mentor novice faculty;
2. Expanding the UW Bothell Master of Nursing program and admitting up to 20-25 additional students who are either faculty currently teaching or interested in teaching at consortium schools
3. Allocating scholarships ($160,000) to students currently in or planning careers in nursing education; and
4. Enhancing the quality of education for nurses and nursing faculty through the consortium, faculty-to-faculty connections, and novice faculty mentoring.

The consortium will include the following institutions, the majority (12) of which currently share articulation agreements with the UW Bothell Nursing Program: Bellevue Community College, Bellingham Technical College, Everett Community College, Highline Community College, Lake Washington Technical College, North Seattle Community College, Peninsula College, Renton Technical College, Seattle Central Community College, Shoreline Community College, Skagit Valley College (Mount Vernon and Whidbey Island campuses), South Seattle Community College, and Whatcom Community College.

This expanded partnership will strengthen UW Bothell's nursing education offerings to best meet the needs and opportunities identified by consortium faculty, enabling the program to continue to educate highly qualified nursing educators who will serve to prepare the region's next generation of nurses and health care professionals. Consortium schools are located in King, Island, Snohomish, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties with the schools' nursing alumni practicing throughout the state and region. 100% of these Congressionally directed dollars will be applied to the project.

UW Bothell is located in the state's 1st congressional district, represented by U.S. Representative Jay Inslee and U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, all of whom are to be noted for their efforts to support quality education and for working to address our state's health care crisis. Additional support was provided by Congressman Dave Reichert of the 8th congressional district.

About the UW Bothell Nursing Program: The UW Bothell Nursing Program offers two academic degree programs both of which serve working nurses who must balance work, families and social responsibilities. The first is the RN to BSN completion program which allows nurses whose pre-licensure nursing education was based in diploma or associate degree programs to complete their BSN through efficient scheduling of classes one day per week. Since the program was established in 1992, over 1,200 RN to BSN students have graduated from this program and most continue to live and work in the Northern Puget Sound region.

The second program offered is the Master of Nursing program which focuses on leadership in education, practice, policy, and program development. The cohort program is offered in either a 7 quarter or 11 quarter sequence of study, with classes scheduled one day a week. Since admitting its first students in 2002, 88 nurses have graduated from the program with twenty-eight (32%) currently serving as faculty in regional ADN and BSN programs.

More information about the program can be found at www.uwb.edu/nursing.

About UW Bothell: The University of Washington Bothell was founded in 1990 to serve King and Snohomish counties and north Puget Sound area students seeking bachelor's and master's degrees. UW Bothell offers degree programs in applied computing, business, nursing, education, computing and software systems, interdisciplinary arts and sciences, cultural studies, and policy studies. In addition to growing its Nursing Program, the institution is currently developing other programs to train students for careers in the health care and biomedical fields, thereby working to directly respond to community needs.

###