April 1, 2010 - The California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) has awarded $170,000 to the School of Nursing at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) to support family nurse practitioner training and preparation for primary care careers.
CSULB received the largest of the 15 awards that were given to universities up and down the state. Awarded through the OSHPD’s Song-Brown Program, the grants totaled more than $1.7 million and are meant to assist the growing demand for health care practitioners throughout California.
“Each of these programs has shown ongoing commitments in training and preparing healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide culturally competent healthcare that meets the needs of California’s underserved populations,” said David Carlisle, MD, director of the OSHPD.
At CSULB, the funds will be used in a variety of ways, including the hiring a nursing faculty member to help find clinical placements for family nurse practitioners (FNPs) in under-served areas, according to Loucine Huckabay, director of the School of Nursing. The money will also enable FNP students to take three medical Spanish-language courses, which will help them to take health histories and interview patients and family members who speak only Spanish.
“The experience our family nurse practitioner students gain through these clinical placements is invaluable, and the Spanish-language courses are essential for the work they will eventually being doing,” said Huckabay, who wrote the Song-Brown grant proposal and defended it in Sacramento in front of the OSHPD Commission in October. “This money will help our campus produce very competent family nurse practitioner graduates who will be able to work in underrepresented minority areas, caring for underrepresented minority patients and their families.”
The Song-Brown program was established by the Song-Brown Act of 1973 to increase the number of family practice physicians and physician assistants being trained in the state to provide needed medical services to Californians. OSHPD works in conjunction with the California Healthcare Workforce Policy Commission to award Song-Brown program funding.
Family nurse practitioners were added to the Song-Brown program in 1978, and in 2005, Schwarzenegger expanded the program to include registered nurses. Song-Brown funds come from a health facilities fee that goes into a special OSHPD administered California Health and Data Fund.