Attempting to increase the number of registered nursing schools, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced on Feb. 15 that he will award $3 million in grants to 16 different California nursing schools, the largest allotment of which is going to UC Irvine.
Since California is suffering a significant nursing shortage, these funds could help address the issue by expanding nurse education programs in the state. The funds for the grants were made available through the Song-Brown Act, a program passed in 1973 to increase the training of family physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants in medically understaffed areas of California. This maneuver by Schwarzenegger was administered by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development through the California Healthcare Workforce Policy Commission. This proposed plan intends to aid nursing schools and their efforts to attract and educate additional nursing students throughout the state of California.
‘As we focus on reforming California’s broken health care system, we must ensure that we have the workforce to meet the growing demand for nurses. These grants will help expand enrollment in nursing programs and attract students from within the communities the nursing programs serve,’ Schwarzenegger said. ‘Our goal is to increase nursing school opportunities, particularly in medically underserved communities, and improve the training of nurses so they can provide the highest quality of care.’
These grants will hopefully improve and expand the nursing programs in California. UCI is one of the many recipients of such grants.
The top five universities to receive funds were UCI, which received $364,956, Mount St. Mary’s College at $273,180, Cal State East Bay at $240,000, Cal State Bakersfield with $240,000 and UC San Diego, Hahn School of Nursing with $240,000.
Schwarzenegger hopes to mend the ‘broken health care system’ by allocating money from programs such as Song-Brown in order to attract students into nursing schools and alleviate the shortage of nurses in California. From the time Schwarzenegger has been sworn into office, the Song-Brown program has granted $18 million to various programs.