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News

Charles Drew University Addresses Shortage of Nurses with Plans for a New Nursing Program

Students and Physicians surround Dr. Gail Orum-Alexander (who is the Dean for the
College of Science and Health).

Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing, which will be housed in the Life Sciences Research and Nursing Education, currently under construction and to open in the spring of 2009, will help address the appalling shortage of nurses that plagues California, but which is at its worst in South Los Angeles. The nursing school, named in honor of Mervyn M. Dymally, the renowned California Assemblyman and former State Senator, Lieutenant Governor, and U.S. Congressman, plans to offer an initial program accepting 40 individuals who already have a non-nursing degree in spring 2009 into an entry level Master’s Degree that will fit them for employment as clinical nurse leaders, pending approval from the California Board of Nursing. The national shortage of faculty to teach nurses is also dire and the nursing school will hopefully also fill a need here in the future.

The Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing will not only address the critical shortages in this area but will bring more skilled professionals into the work force with meaningful employment. California consistently ranks 49th or 50th nationwide in the number of registered nurses per capita, with 30% fewer nurses than the national average. The Federal Health Resources and Services Agency estimates that by 2010, California will need more than 42,000 additional nurses to meet the demand, which it describes as “a target that more than likely will not be met because of the inability of the current nursing education program to prepare sufficient numbers of professionals.” This shortage of nurses is expected to grow to more than 120,000 by the year 2020.