September 4 – Tri-City Hospital Foundation announced today that it received a $150,000 grant from the California Wellness Foundation to establish a Center for Nursing Diversity at Tri-City Medical Center. The three-year grant will help address the nursing shortage in North County by developing a “pipeline” educational program for underrepresented minority groups. The demand for language appropriate and culturally competent health care is increasing as North County’s population becomes more diverse. For example, currently of the total TCMC patients, 27% are Latino, but only 5% of nurses now working at Tri-City Medical Center are Latino, making them an underrepresented minority group.
Suellyn Ellerbe, RN, MN, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nurse Executive said, “We are so pleased to receive this funding. Meeting the needs of a diverse workforce serving a diverse patient population is essential to delivering high quality nursing care. We anticipate the grant will assist us in developing materials and programs to enhance our care and will help to recruit underrepresented minority nurses to our staff.”
The TCMC Center for Nursing Diversity will collaborate with its nursing school partners, particularly those located in North County, California State University-San Marcos (CSUSM), Palomar College and Mira Costa College to assist, place and mentor nursing students.
The nursing educational “pipeline” refers to the training of students through the progressive continuum of educational levels to become nurses (and allied health) professionals. The process starts in middle and high school so that students become aware of the professional opportunities through medical career speakers, tours of programs on college campuses and visiting Tri-City Medical Center. They also learn of the educational requirements to prepare to qualify to enter the programs.
The grant will support a program coordinator who will assist nursing students in such activities as assigning nurse mentors and scheduling the shadowing of nurses by students. The coordinator will conduct outreach activities to local high schools and other community organizations to encourage student interest in nursing careers; and will organize student exposure to Tri-City Medical Center’s nursing careers through tours of the hospital.
Some individuals in the nursing “pipeline” are already employees at Tri-City Medical Center, but want to upgrade their education to the next level while continuing to work and support themselves and their families.
The California Wellness Foundation is an independent, private foundation created in 1992 that has a mission is to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention.
Founded in 1961 and located in Oceanside, Tri-City Medical Center is a fully accredited 397-bed hospital providing a complete range of medical, surgical, and educational health services. TCMC has medical staff of 626 physicians representing over 30 medical specialties and sub-specialties. In FY 2007, TCMC served a total of 86,711 patients and provided 161,207 inpatient and outpatient encounters.