Our graduates individually – and the university as a whole – show the power and reach of The Beach as a catalyst for our state and our communities.
Powering the Health Care Workforce
Amayla Early’s experience as a patient strengthened her conviction to study nursing.
“Nurses have always shown me compassion,” she said. “I have always felt the need to give back to the profession by being a nurse myself. No matter what area of health care, nurses have always been by people’s sides, ensuring needs are met.
“I hope to serve my community by implementing these qualities into my practice. I hope to make others feel that someone is advocating for them during a difficult time,” added Early, who graduated with a B.S. in nursing last spring.
As California faces a shortage of roughly 36,000 registered nurses, vz99’s School of Nursing is strengthening the health care workforce with a near-100 percent pass rate in NCLEX-RN, a required examination for the licensure of nurses, as well as strong partnerships, innovative programs and a committed faculty that reflects California’s diversity.
A robust family of health care partners in the area — MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center, Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center, Hoag Hospital and others — allow Beach students to perform their clinical rotations not far from campus. Students serve a diverse population with a wide range of needs.
“Our partners work hard with our students,” said Michael Williams, director of the School of Nursing. “They want them to succeed.”
Besides required clinical practice in health care environments, state-of-the-art simulated settings in the university’s College of Health and Human Services guarantee that every student is faced with cardiac arrest and other emergency situations that build their preparation. “The standardization of patient experiences, even if they're virtual, has helped all our systems skills,” said Williams.
The school’s BSN to DNP program allows students to pursue their Doctor of Nursing Practice diploma after completing their Bachelor of Science in nursing degree. The program focuses on five nurse practitioner specialties and prepares advanced practice nurses for complex practice, leadership clinical roles and teaching positions at community colleges and universities in the state.
“People love our graduates,” said Williams. “They will hire them without question.”
While the nursing shortage is worrying, so is the nursing faculty shortage — but opportunities at the School of Nursing allow Beach students to hone their skills in non-clinical options as well. While pursuing her degree, Early spent time as an instructional student assistant for the Human Anatomy course, a tutor for many biology and nursing courses, and the pre-nursing director for the California Nursing Students Association.
“In the School of Nursing, so many instructors demonstrate a love for what they do,” said Early, now a registered nurse. “They remind me what I’m working towards, which has been so motivating.”