Home > Humboldt State University > HSU nixes nursing program

HSU nixes nursing program

Humboldt State University prez Rollin Richmond dropped the axe today on HSU’s nursing program.

Announcement from Richmond below.

Campus Community,

After careful consultation with the campus, local health care providers and the broader community, I have decided to discontinue Humboldt State’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.This was a difficult decision, particularly because of the impact on current pre-nursing majors and prospective students who applied to the BSN program for Fall 2011. We have begun notifying students and applicants of the decision, and advisors are available to help them explore their options. For pre-nursing majors, that may mean transferring to other programs; for students currently enrolled in the BSN program, though, we are committed to helping them graduate in a timely fashion.

We recognize the region’s need for nurses with a four-year degree. Going forward, Humboldt will work with other campuses in the California State University system and the California Community College system to provide the region with a BSN option. Details will be made available as these discussions progress.

The decision to discontinue the program is the result of a process that began last year. At that time, the University faced a severe budget reduction, and the Academic Senate recommended discontinuing the Nursing program. In making this recommendation, the Senate cited the high cost of the program, its inability to attract and retain qualified faculty and its overlap with College of the Redwoods’ two-year nursing program that trains RNs (Registered Nurses).

Rather than suspend our Nursing program last spring, we decided to grant it a temporary reprieve and invest in it. The University hired a tenured Nursing Chair/Director and approved two tenure-track positions for the Department, with the understanding that the Department would develop a plan to address critical problems. However, despite the efforts of numerous faculty and staff in the Nursing program, it has become clear that the Department is not going to be able to overcome the substantial challenges facing it.

In conversations with regional health-care providers, we heard very clearly about the importance of retaining a BSN option for the region. The health care providers also emphasized that the region’s current RN needs were being met by the ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) program at the College of the Redwoods. A program that allowed local RNs to attain a BSN, we were told, would meet the region’s needs and reduce duplication between our program and the program at the College of the Redwoods.

After preliminary conversations with multiple other CSU campuses, we are confident that we can form a partnership with one or more other institutions to provide an ADN-to-BSN degree program that will meet the region’s needs.


Signature – Rollin C. Richmond
Rollin C. Richmond

  1. Anonymous
    February 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    From the start, Richmond’s stated goal was to increase enrollment.

    He succeeded.

    HSU invested tens of millions of dollars in new construction, and remodeled venues for entertainment, recreation, leisure activities, P.E., and image enhancement, designed to appeal to the sensibilities of wealthier students that can afford higher tuition. Academic relevance takes another fatal hit.

    The SAME strategy of the nation’s largest banks, home builders, auto manufacturers, and hospitals… They appealed to wealthier consumers, built and financed higher-profit (bigger) products, and medical tests, and fabulously boosted short-term profits.

    It is unsustainable, but don’t expect similar observations, concerns, comparisons, or complaints from fear-ridden staff, faculty or “community media”.

  2. Decline to State
    February 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    The directions higher education takes will no longer be determined by meeting society’s needs but will be determined by which courses are the cheapest?

    This makes no sense.

  3. Anonymous
    February 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Tell us why you think the improvements to HSU attracted wealthier students. What does that have to do with it? Always poor me, poor me.

  4. Anonymous
    February 9, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    How ridiculous. Axe the Nursing Program but keep stupid programs like Interpretation, which turns out people with no science education so they can “interperate” science.

  5. humboldturtle
    February 9, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    One more lost opportunity for local kids. Bad news.

  6. Julie Timmons
    February 9, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    You are correct,Turtle. An outrageous decision.

  7. beam me up Rollin
    February 9, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Do Tree hugging, Happy sac I, Sandbox I & Sandbox II still offer BS credits.

  8. Not A Native
    February 9, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    This may be a blow to the ego and pride of some, but practically it won’t degrade local health care or health care education opportunity. The HSU program largely duplicated CR’s program, with little added value. The wholistic nursing moniker is a flim flam.

    Now, the track to a local BSN will be: High School: College of Redwoods:Humboldt State(Distance Learning). Inbred Humbolters will still be able to get papered to fill State Gubmint jobs without ever having to go out and experience the real world (its scary to have to go out there and see how competant and accomplished some people are, just ask Ginny Bass).

  9. McKinleyville Kris
    February 9, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Nursing was always the most expensive program on campus, no one wanted to be department head and they waited so long to go over apps that the better students went somewhere else.

    What really bothered me was hearing a soon-to-be grad saying that she was going to be a flight attendant because they were required to have a nurse on board for transcontinental flights. What a good use of the (nearly free to her) degree, eh? People really benefited from that–NOT.

  10. Anonymous
    February 9, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Another epic Humboldt County FAIL.

  11. Mitch
    February 9, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    McKinleyville Kris,

    That really bothered you?

  12. Just plain Dave
    February 9, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Attending H.S.U. if far from being nearly free. I hope you never suffer a medical emergency on an airplane as you are headed to another country Kris. If you do I am certain that you will be grateful that there is an R.N. on board to help you. You should be bothered by more important things than what job a college grad accepts.

  13. localnurse
    February 9, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    It is appalling that HSU proudly displays its new dormatories complete with an NCAA soccer field in the wake of ongoing cuts to education. Nursing is a profession which employs new graduates and yields countless benefits to society. The value of excellent nursing care cannot be quantified in dollars and cents and thus neither can a nursing program. There is no philosophical duplication of RN degrees in Humboldt County. College of the Redwoods does not offer an identical nursing education, though it it does offer one that qualifies its graduates to pass the licensing board examination tests. Some programs make money at a campus while nursing does not. Is this the way we, as a society, want to evaluate our options? Didn’t we learn already that the “Greed is Good” mantra is unsustainable and unequitable? Such poor decision-making at HSU makes me wonder about the future of my alma mater and if anyone listens to the social responsibility pledge made at graduation.

  14. February 9, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    There is always money for building soccer fields, new buildings, etc.
    Concrete equals money and prestige and nothing looks better on the ole college president resume than construction projects. This is because those are the kinds of projects that put money in the pockets of the private sector, which ultimately directs the CA university system through the regents.

    The same situation is happening at CR, where they’re constructing a new administration building in the middle of the biggest financial crisis in the state’s history. Just a few years ago, CR constructed a new million dollar library, but that didn’t stop this project. Apparently, the community college system’s bank account has no bottom when it comes to construction, just when it comes to hiring instructors or providing student services. But hey, at least now their outdated, measly book collection looks all stylish under all that shiny steel and glass.

    The CSU system is even worse. Students were always a secondary consideration, so why does anyone think that the administration will care now? Besides, CSU campuses are so impacted by the recent vast influx of student applications that they are not even accepting high school seniors for the fall semester. Why cater to the public when they’re clamoring at the door?

    I’m not saying that it’s fair, but new construction will always trump students. Concrete looks so pretty when it’s new and makes the Regents, big contractors, and the townies get all happy; students just puke on your front porch on the way home from the bar.

  15. Anonymous
    February 9, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    HSU isn’t too concerned about offering programs that are effective. A high percentage of nursing students work in their field of study. Before them was the axed Industrial Technology department which had the highest percentage of all campus programs (and lucrative jobs with graduates owning construction firms, good for future fundraising). The effect on our community isn’t a concern. Before axing nursing, they axed the Natural History Museum because one guy wanted it to be so. (Sure, the museum returned, but only because of a sustained backlash. Are our hospitals in a position to provide a similar backlash?)

  16. Rumbustious
    February 9, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    There’s a lot of emotion here, but not necessarily a lot of fact. Fact: CR — a two year program — turns out fully qualified clinical RN’s. Fact: the main advantage for a BS in nursing is to allow folks to go on to nursing jobs that REQUIRE a BS, like public health nurse, school nurse, nursing administrator, or to medical school to become a nurse practitioner. Fact: a BS in nursing does NOT necessarily make one a better clinical nurse.

    I should point out that my wife, who worked as an RN for about 20 years, and for a while as a nursing supervisor for St. Francis Hospital in San Francisco, has a 2-year RN degree from a community college in Seattle. When she took her state boards in Washington, she had the HIGHEST score that year of ANY nurse in the state, beating out BS folks from the University of Washington. She said that in her experience, many of the 2-year RN’s had better clinical nursing skills than those with a 4-yr BS.

    The HSU nursing program has been slowly dying for years. Tenured nursing faculty would retire or leave, and they couldn’t get replacement tenure-line faculty to stay, or even to come here.

    I’m not a Richmond fan, but it’s better to terminate a dying program than to keep propping it up in the hopes it will get better. You can throw money at these things, but if a department’s internal culture isn’t vital and supportive, you’ll simply have a mediocre to poor program.

    Finally, regarding, increased fees: these are mandated by the CSU Board of Trustees at the recommendation of the Chancellor’s office. Capital outlay — buildings like the gym, soccer fields, dorms etc — comes from bond money that CANNOT be used for any other purpose. State law prohibits it. So it’s possible to build buildings that could not be properly equipped, staffed, or used because there’s no money for people.

  17. eurekite
    February 9, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    I don’t disagree with most comments about the useless management of HSU but the nursing program seems to be a victim of bad faculty and management within that department. It sounds like there were some deeply-entrenched people that were just eliminated using the nuclear option.

    Nursing is in extremely high demand in California. If you can’t turn HSU’s nursing program into an exciting place with this climate you are clearly inept in every way.

    What I’d like to see Richmond explain is what he sees HSU for. What kind of education do you want to provide there? The school seems to entirely lack focus and vision from management.

    If this leads to an improved CR that is a good thing.

  18. Local Nurse
    February 9, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Fact: Most CR nursing students come from the local population.

    Fact: Most HSU nursing students come from out-of-the-area.

    The benefit of the HSU program is that some of these new nurses choose to stay in Humboldt County. It’s a dream of MANY university students to find a job locally, but they know it’s impossible. HSU-made nurses are fortunate to have no shortage of positions to apply for. This is a serious loss for our community. How much more of Rollin’s reforms are we going to have inflicted upon us?

  19. Local Nurse
    February 9, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Rumbustious, the fact is, the nursing program could have been turned around in 12 months if the administration had the will. It did not. The administration makes many superficial decisions with minimal research or concern for the community. This is only the latest example.

  20. Bolithio
    February 9, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    How ridiculous. Axe the Nursing Program but keep stupid programs like Interpretation, which turns out people with no science education so they can “interperate” science.

    Agreed. You would also think the best programs to keep are the ones whose graduates have the highest demand in the work force; duh?!

  21. Inside View
    February 9, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    victim of bad faculty and management within that department.

    There were no faculty interpersonal problems, at least no more than in any other department. They got the job done and turned out high quality graduates.

    The problems:
    1. Administrative leadership (dean)
    2. Department leadership (a succession of people)

    That’s it. Get a good department director and a dean providing oversight, and the hiring and other changes would get done. The vast majority of “faculty” are untenured lecturers who weren’t allowed to assist with the needed changes. This whole thing is an administrative problem created by the very people who decided to kill the program. This problem existed before Richmond and the dean landed at HSU, but they did not resolve it. The rank and file can only watch and shake their heads.

  22. Anonymous
    February 9, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    No more nurses but they still crank out more social workers.

  23. skippy
    February 9, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Being succinct, Anonymous’ opening shot over the bow said it for me in everyday terms. Rumbustious’ articulate comments gave equal, complementary, and slightly contrary thought. Local Nurse offers 3 concise posts describing some inherent differences and contributions.

    This is why I like this site: your posts, and the wide range of local and informed opinions helping yours truly make his own.

  24. February 9, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Don’t blame the faculty for killimg. the HSU nurses program”
    tIt was “Their job or mine. ” the program was unique but needed help. Th decision should have been Value–not Cost.
    Do the local medical facilities have any output in the future local output
    of fouryear trained nurses
    Do we care?????

  25. paddy brett
    February 9, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    the course is RESPONSIBILITY TO FELLOW MAN 101. HSU’s grade FU.

  26. Anon
    February 9, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    Learn the difference between bond funded projects and school budgeted programs.

  27. Anonymous
    February 9, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    2 facts that make this issue a challenge:

    1. Nurses were in demand. They are not now.

    2. The nursing program costs upwards of 900,000 dollars a year to run.

    Switch the above. The most important issue is that the program cost too much. I agree about the other programs, social workers, interpretation, etc, but those programs are not expensive.

    February 10, 2011 at 12:14 am

    Local Nurse and Randy make some good points, often reminding me of SCHOOL BOND MEASURES and other “special assessment districts” created by the wealthy to tax the poorer, even though the wealthy still benefit from their own dibs too cuz their already positioned to gain one way or the other from such taxation which thusly makes the whole argument of “we pay our fair share too” kinda an oxymoron cuz if one(wealthier) positions themself versus another(poorer) ahead of time prior to the rigged tax scheme, AND then claims since they both pay equally on something, that it can’t be disparitive or rigged (again, even though certain types are already positioned to gain – what is that scheme called again when a person puts in a bet equal to another knowing that even if they lose the bet, they win overall), THEN how can not the poorer one be the victim compounded by the fact that they are being forced to victimize themself, regardless.

    It is a shame about the program. A female soccer referee Iwas introduced too over a year ago was attending the program and I was told it was highly recommended. As far as the fields and dorms and such – Randy is right about construction, but also it is just about “NEW STUFF” – ever notice how people flock to new stuff to be the first to use and abuse it??? Lets also look at the cost of those entrance towers – what good are they doing besides costing money that coulda went into an actual program that educates and not some appurtenant fixture in the ground teaching nothing except that the sophisticated boobs that administrate are overpaid goons that waste tax dollars intentionally to help conspire with government tax collectors to make societal costs go uppidy up up and away – this is a reason why the wealthy are really becoming wealthier (besides over-population). So, that degree…..guaranteed a lifelong job yet; or, told to go back for education retrainings where money is pumped into stucco projects and such???????????????????????

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  29. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 12:39 am

    Nurses were in demand. They are not now.

    Wrong. Wronger than wrong. Crazy wrong. We continue to be in the middle of a nursing shortage, in Humboldt and around the country.

    My SO is a nurse. Half our junk mail is other hospitals trying to lure us away with juicy multiple-thousands-of-dollars signing bonuses, moving expenses paid, etc.

  30. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Those offers are not always the places people want to work though.

  31. Humboldt Politico
    February 10, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Not to be sexist, but Nursing is one of the few programs where a woman can graduate and immediately earn $50 to $100K a year. Yes, the HSU program had problems, but a serious commitment by the Administration could have salvaged the program. To me, the bottom line, the cost drove this decision, not anything else no matter what the P.R. machine of HSU says.

    February 10, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Not to be an arsehole,

    but no nurse (woman or man) deserves $50-$100k immediately – why ya think costs are sky-rocketing (individual AND communal greeds). In fact, spare the bull schit about nurses and compassion too for that amount. Same thing goes with educators using children as patients for political shenanigans. Too many people getting paid more than they are worth or deserve, FACT! Now, minimum wage on the other hand…..that is where to start looking at the bottom line for societal costs.


  33. Someone with a clue
    February 10, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Costs are not skyrocketing because of nursing salaries Henchman, sorry to inform you. Costs are skyrocketing because of insurance companies whose primary interest is profit, not health care. Hospitals react to what insurance companies do, not the other way around.

    And don’t worry, Humboldt nurses don’t get paid the prevailing wage. it’s what makes Humboldt’s nursing shortage worse than elsewhere. And our doctors tend to be near retirement age because young doctors cannot earn enough here to pay off their student loans. Most of our young doctors are here for 2 years as a condition of their loans, to work in an impoverished region, then they leave because they have a family to feed.

  34. Someone with a clue
    February 10, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Payscale.com says the national average nurse salary is $46-66K, which includes overtime. There’s no indication whether that’s first year nurses, or all nurses (who have had salary increases and increased credentials which also increase pay). First time Humboldt hospital nurses can expect more in the neighborhood of $30-36K. Having a BSN instead of an AA gives a slight boost.

  35. A-Nony-Mouse
    February 10, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Every school in the CSU system has a Sociology department, a Psychology Department, and an English Department. HSU has several UNIQUE programs in science and natural resources that are its trademark. Not all schools have a nursing program. It was another thing that made HSU unique. Richmond is slowly sinking HSU into the homgenized pool of schools that all offer the same thing. We should be proud of HSU’s special offerings. They serve strong clear functions in society and should be preserved. Yes, they sometimes cost more on a per-student basis, but you must look at their value to the greater society. Many are not duplicated anywhere else in the system. Their graduates have jobs, period! I’d rather see HSU drop back to fewer students and retain its signature programs than try to cram the halls with generic majors that can be duplicated anywhere.

  36. A-Nony-Mouse
    February 10, 2011 at 9:14 am

    That’s “homogenized”. Thanks again, Magic Fingers!

  37. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 9:15 am

    There are tons of jobs in elder care and psych, but the cush jobs in doctor offices and hospitals day shift
    are not as easy to come by.

  38. Plain Jane
    February 10, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Humboldt isn’t the only school to cancel nursing programs. In Oregon nursing programs have been cut at community colleges and are limited at state colleges. It’s almost as if training nurses wasn’t a high priority and maybe it isn’t when they can import nurses trained elsewhere and pay them less.

    February 10, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Someone with a clue
    February 10, 2011 at 8:57 am
    Costs are not skyrocketing because of nursing salaries Henchman, sorry to inform you. Costs are skyrocketing because of insurance companies whose primary interest is profit, not health care. Hospitals react to what insurance companies do, not the other way around.

    And don’t worry, Humboldt nurses don’t get paid the prevailing wage. it’s what makes Humboldt’s nursing shortage worse than elsewhere. And our doctors tend to be near retirement age because young doctors cannot earn enough here to pay off their student loans. Most of our young doctors are here for 2 years as a condition of their loans, to work in an impoverished region, then they leave because they have a family to feed.

    Response: I disagree; and lets not be restricting my comment to just nurses and local, when COSTS ARE an economic concern which is pervasive throughout many industries and economic sectors which DOES (FACT!!!!!!!!!!!!!) have a pronounced effect on raising societal costs that which are proportionately related both directly and indirectly to any such type of “PROGRAM” that runs on a budget, including a nursing program …..not to mention just about anything else using the monetary supply system of fiat currency; so, essentially, since the world runs on insurance frauds and scams by the sophisticated boobs and wannabe elitests that sell insurance for profit and to pay-off employees who make way too much money jacking another person, I doubt the nursing industry is hurt any more than other industries or economic sectors if you will. Let’s just say politics is the lace upon leather in many “program” debates.

    If nurse wages all across the state and country were lower because costs were lower, would the “nursing program” still get axed? I doubt it, but then again, we truly can’t speak to the fact that politics always takes weird twists and turns after-the fact………always an agenda for the few!


  40. Julie Timmons
    February 10, 2011 at 9:26 am

    The CORE problem which has led to a shortage of 300,000 nurses nationwide is a shortage of nursing FACULTY, which cannot be satisfied by two-year degreed nurses. Hopefully, they will work out an arrangement with another school to continue the bachelors’ program.

  41. Big Al
    February 10, 2011 at 9:29 am

    nurses are angels, not paid enough ever.
    let’s hope we never need their care and thank god for them if we ever do.
    there are really good ones and some not so much, I am sure I would never make it as a nurse therefore am thankful for those who can and do.
    not a pretty job.
    thank you nurses

  42. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Jane, if by importing nurses you mean ‘travel nurses,’ the opposite is true. Travel nurses work with an agency that places them as hospitals much like a temp agency. Unlike office temps, traveling nurses make a LOT more than staff nurses and they get priority in scheduling. That means if you’ve been loyal to your employer for 20 years and the number of patients is low during your time slot today while a travel nurse is also scheduled to work, you get put ‘on call’ at home earning a tiny fraction of your hourly rate while the travel nurse gets priority for working the time slot and earns a lot more than you would if you were working your normal shift.

    Our hospitals utilize travel nurses because of the nursing crisis. They have no other choice. I predict Mad River closes within 5 years under the crush of not having local nurses to hire. St. Joe’s is in better shape because it’s a nonprofit and has the larger parent organization to help it.

    The failure of the HSU administration to get its house in order will have HUGE financial implications for many segments of our community.

  43. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Julie, county government might be the only local organization that needs BSN graduates. Has anyone other than Phillip Crandall pushed for a BSN bridge program?

    Offering a BSN bridge program from CR is not a solution because there is little local need for BSN graduates. It’s nice, but not critical. Worse, HSU attracts students from outside our county, and we are losing that advantage. I doubt CR can increase its program and increase its marketing to pull in the students that HSU was pulling in. We’re totally screwed. This is Rollin Richmond’s legacy, the meltdown of our local health care system. The madness begins in 3 years when the next wave of nursing graduates won’t be entering our community. Maybe ol’ Rollin will be retired by then. Not his mess. He can move back home.

  44. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Oh, and travel nurses have their travel and housing expenses paid for, on top of the cushy salary.

  45. Humboldt Politico
    February 10, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Jeffy L. –

    The St. Joe system in Humboldt starts nurses out at about $25.00/hr. This is for new grads whether with a BS or AA. $25 x 2000 = $50,000. This is what the free market dictates. One of the reasons nurses leave the county after graduation is that, for example, the St. Joe hospital in Santa Rosa starts new grads at $30 to $35 an hour and up to $50 in S.F. Humboldt is notorious for underpaying their nurses using the excuse of the benefits of living in the Redwoods.

    Just because you can’t earn anywhere near this is your problem, not theirs. You should learn to shut up when you don’t have a clue.

  46. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 9:46 am

    St. Joe’s has a union, too. I suppose Jeff thinks unions are the spawn of Satan.

    You need $50/hour if you’re going to live in the Bay Area. I wonder how much McDonald’s workers earn there.

  47. Not A Native
    February 10, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    On Ch. 3 news last night Snyder was interviewed and said that 85% of the the HSU nursing student move away after graduation. Of course, most of them moved here only to attend class, so they’re simply going home.

    Since it costs HSU a lot more to educate each student than the fees they pay, the net local financial effect is simply State money coming into the HSU community and spreading out to the larger local community. Local hospitals also get free community service time that nursing students have to put in. Bottom economic line, if the State gives HSU less money, the local community gets less money. But closing HSU’s program will have little effect on the availability of nurses here since so few HSU graduates stay here. If CR increased enrollment by 6 students, that would make up for it.

    The real problems at HSU Nursing are personnel and personalities. Managing employees in HumCo is like herding cats, and employee bargaining agreements make it even more challenging. Few competent managers with skills in demand will agree to work in those conditions, and that’s whats happened at HSU.

  48. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    To have a civil debate on this issue, we must gloss-over the most uncomfortable truths, like the insanity of prolific new construction while janitors are laid off, programs are cut and eliminated, and experienced senior professors are early-retired.

    There’s no obligation to spend bond monies amid such scandal.

    I repeat: the CSU Trustee leadership, including campus administrations, are peppered with privileged industry-hacks, their decisions reflect the prevailing “privatization-deregulation-free-market” ideology in America that opened the floodgates for every other U.S. industry to build more profitable products to appeal to wealthier consumers, the CSU similarly competed for the limited number of wealthier clientele by fully-funding, remodeling and rapid expansion of facilities for P.E., entertainment and recreation venues; an irresistible appeal to privileged youths addicted to entertainment with the leisure-time to consume it. Hence, HSU’s “class-centered” system of charging the same fees to everyone for programs that require additional user-fees few can afford.

    The poor subsidizing the excesses of the rich…kind of like the bailouts…a process familiar to the royalty of ancient civilizations.

    All perfectly legal…except for the violations of the U.S. Education Act of 1965, guaranteeing access to public universities for all qualified American citizens, (unaffordable is not accessible), and the California Education Code, Section 89000, requiring that auxiliary organizations “provide services essential to campus operations”, (an underutilized boat house/conference center on prime bay-front property, a $300,000 cafe in the library (and other areas on campus), rafting, sailing, rock-climbing, community swimming pool, costly big-name entertainment extravaganzas, a plethora of assorted leisure activities are not “essential” but require a bureaucracy of numerous 6-figure executives, offices and a “controller” (University Center). Isn’t one controller enough in California??

    Where’s the people’s advocates willing to enforce the law for a more relevant, accessible public education??

    Where’s the media, the outrage, the debate?

  49. skippy
    February 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Today’s lengthy Times-Standard’s article, “Humboldt State University Axes Nursing Program,” written by the mighty Thadeus Greenson is here for readers.

    (No, Plain Jane, yours truly is not running for President. Merely helping this site and news be a one-stop-shop for those interested)

  50. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Native, first, consider the source of the claim. Second, do the math with 120 nurses every year. Even if you blindly believe the 15% statistic, it’s a huge ‘ucking deal. A hospital’s next option is to recruit out of the area, pay a signing bonus, pay moving costs and paying a travel nurse until each position is filled. Except, positions are continuously opening up, so the cycle never ends. Each and every nurse HSU can give us is vital. No exceptions.

  51. Humboldt Politico
    February 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    The huge wage differential between what St. Joe’s and the local facilities pay and what a 4 year nurse can make elsewhere is one of the primary reasons 85% (I believe this is an accurate number) of the HSU nurses leave upon graduation. If you can make an extra $20,000 a year and have what a city can offer (unlike Eureka and Arcata), you’d be stupid to stay.

  52. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    In what universe is having 18 new nurses work in Humboldt County not significant? And having the whole 120 work as nurses in area hospitals while they are still students? A nursing program is heavy on hands-on experience. After the first or second semester in the program, doesn’t every student have one to three courses every semester that involves working in the field?

  53. Not A Native
    February 10, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Sorry anon 2:06 but I just don’t agree.

    The numbers of HSU nursing grads remaining here are small and at least some of HSU students with intent to be a nurse here have the choice to go to schools elsewhere as then come back(if they still want to). Everyone agrees that CR’s program creates qualified clinical nurses, most of whom do remain local. If local nurse availability is your concern, you should be promoting increasing CR’s successful program rather than HSU’s unsuccessful one.

    As to the costs to hospitals, they need to continuously recruit staff to accomodate their normal rates of turnover. Thats a job the management is paid to identify and execute. I think its healthy for local hospitals to keep themselves competitive and attractive to potential workers rather than relying on a ‘captive’ local workforce ‘trapped’ here with no alternatives or options.
    Other posters have suggested that qualified nurses leave here because working conditions aren’t so good. If thats true, the solution isn’t to enslave nurses here, the solution is to improve working conditions.

    And if you consider Snyder to be an unrealiable source, then in your opinion who are reliable sources?

  54. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Why don’t they charge a higher tuition for the nursing program? it is just dollars and cents. Medical school, law school, etc charge large fees because these programs are very expensive. People have student loans to cover them. Why not nursing? If it costs, you have to pay.

  55. Cristina Bauss
    February 10, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Speaking of CR, Ryan Burns is reporting on the NCJ Blog that Jeff Marsee is job-hunting. Apparently, this news has taken a few people by surprise.

  56. Plain Jane
    February 10, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    No, 9:30, I am not talking about traveling nurses who are indeed more expensive (as they should be). I am talking about nurses trained in foreign countries (and engineers, doctors, computer programmers, etc) who will work for less. And Julie Timmons has it right. Two year RN’s don’t have the depth of knowledge required to teach nursing. CR also trains LVN’s but they can’t replace RN’s any more than RN’s can replace BSN’s.

  57. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    A nurse who has a BSN and a nurse who has an AA are both RNs (registered nurses). A nurse lists the BSN part on a business card after the personal name, along with the initials of any additional certifications earned, for example, “Jane Doe, RN, BSN, BC, CWOCN . A nurse who has an AA would list, “Jane Doe, RN” and not list the AA because it’s entry level, nothing to be overly proud about.

  58. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Did anyone see a tuition fee hike suggested for HSU to try to make ends meet, like medical and other professional schools do?

  59. Localnurse
    February 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    It is simply fallacy to state that the ASN and the BSN are equivalent and that the education for them is comparable. How could it be so? Is a history class offered at Fortuna High equivalent to the one at CR or the one at HSU? I think not. The depth and breadth differ. This is the same with a nursing program. Remember that the NCLEX (the licensing exam for RNs) only tests the minimum passing standard for safe practice as an entry level nurse. Just because CR graduates students who pass the NCLEX, this does NOT mean they have learned the same amount of content as the HSU grad. They are both safe nurses, to be sure. But the BSN certainly has had more content to learn and is thus a better-prepared nurse.

    February 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Humboldt Politico
    February 10, 2011 at 9:42 am
    Jeffy L. –

    The St. Joe system in Humboldt starts nurses out at about $25.00/hr. This is for new grads whether with a BS or AA. $25 x 2000 = $50,000. This is what the free market dictates. One of the reasons nurses leave the county after graduation is that, for example, the St. Joe hospital in Santa Rosa starts new grads at $30 to $35 an hour and up to $50 in S.F. Humboldt is notorious for underpaying their nurses using the excuse of the benefits of living in the Redwoods.

    Just because you can’t earn anywhere near this is your problem, not theirs. You should learn to shut up when you don’t have a clue.

    Response: funny how you go off on a tangent having nothing to do with what my comments suggest. Nice try bull-shitter!


  61. Plain Jane
    February 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Duh, 4:32.

    February 10, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Julie Timmons
    February 10, 2011 at 9:26 am
    The CORE problem which has led to a shortage of 300,000 nurses nationwide is a shortage of nursing FACULTY, which cannot be satisfied by two-year degreed nurses. Hopefully, they will work out an arrangement with another school to continue the bachelors’ program.

    Response: Actually, the core problem is too many people living on the planet, let alone in this God-Foresaken country,really, it is fact and truth. How can it be said any other way without the negativity………..


  63. Not A Native
    February 10, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    OK, I researched course offerings and guess what I found, CSU Chico, for one, has an accredited online RN to BSN program. I’d guess thats one viable partner that Richmond was referring to in his memo.

    Its description includes(my bolding):
    Chico School of Nursing has developed the RN-BSN program in a primarily internet based format that accentuates flexibility and convenience for the working nurse, including nurses in distant communities. The program can reach the most distant areas of our rural region, and meet the needs of nurses who have seven-day-a-week, around- the-clock, work schedules.

    February 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    February 10, 2011 at 9:46 am
    St. Joe’s has a union, too. I suppose Jeff thinks unions are the spawn of Satan.

    You need $50/hour if you’re going to live in the Bay Area. I wonder how much McDonald’s workers earn there.

    Response: I have already numerous times explained my discontent for unions. I say bust ’em all up and let the individual decide its oiwn free market – there aint no “free market” when communal labor goons are at the helm. Yep, screw all unions as they are labor segregationists – really not much better than cotton slave owners of yesteryear. Hey, even professional sports has unions that are crapola – who pays = the fans (consumer, customer, end-of-the-line type people).

    Man is the spawn of satan btw, FYI.


  65. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Jane at 4:45: the reason the poster at 4:32 had to explain was because of your last sentence at 4:07 where you said an RN couldn’t replace a BSN. I think I know what you meant it sounded like you didn’t understand the concept that RNs can be either an AA or a BSN.

  66. Humboldt Politico
    February 10, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Jeffy L.
    It’s nice to see ignorance in such flower. You are the poster boy for dribble. Next time you’re in the hospital, we’ll make sure your nurses know your opinion of their profession and how they are “over paid”.

  67. Plain Jane
    February 10, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Sure, 5:02, but since everyone participating in this discussion knows they are both RN’s, it wasn’t necessary to say RN and RN, BSN. When you “inform” people of facts that everyone knows, “duh” is the natural response.

  68. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Except when everyone does not know, and then, of course, it is simply rude. I take it back; it is rude in either situation.

  69. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    and the way PJ wrote it was confusing. it sounded like she herself didn’t get it.

  70. Plain Jane
    February 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    It is rude to assume that people don’t know such commonly known facts, 5:22, 4:32 & 5:02. Duh!

  71. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    I wrote the explanation because Jane either didn’t understand that an RN describes both BSN and AA nurses, or she understood and mistyped a sentence that would lead people to an incorrect understanding. The sentence in question was this one:

    CR also trains LVN’s but they can’t replace RN’s any more than RN’s can replace BSN’s.

    An RN can be a BSN or an AA in nursing.

  72. Plain Jane
    February 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    No, I ASSUMED that everyone participating on this thread knew full well that both are RN’s but their level of training is different. It’s always a surprise to encounter people like you who assume people discussing the cancellation of the RN, BSN program wouldn’t have such basic knowledge. It takes all kinds.

    February 10, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Humboldt Politico
    February 10, 2011 at 5:12 pm
    Jeffy L.
    It’s nice to see ignorance in such flower. You are the poster boy for dribble. Next time you’re in the hospital, we’ll make sure your nurses know your opinion of their profession and how they are “over paid”.

    Response: Ah, and your so confident that you hide away like an item in a mini-storage locker. Now, back into your hole you go.


  74. Humboldt Politico
    February 10, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Jeffy, Jeffy, Jeffy…Is that the best you can do?

  75. Walt
    February 10, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Don’t push too hard or she’ll get all cheney on you. . .

  76. Plain Jane
    February 10, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    But then, I also assume people who are participating in a thread discussion actually read the story at the top of the post before they comment and further assume that they understand it. I was obviously mistaken in that assumption since it is clear that Anonymous either didn’t read it, didn’t understand it, or possibly they assumed that others didn’t read it.

  77. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    I’m sorry Jane, but your sentence was factually incorrect. I corrected it in a polite manner. Now I’m no longer polite. Get over it. This isn’t about your ego.

  78. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    It was your post, Plain, that needed clarification, and there are two of us writing here to demonstrate that. Let’s forget it and get back on topic.

  79. Plain Jane
    February 10, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Whatever, Anonymous. It is obvious to anyone who read the article at the top of the thread that nurses with BSN degrees are RN’s with more advanced training than RN’s with ADN degrees, even if they didn’t know that before. Nitpicking is for monkeys, not for people having a serious discussion.

  80. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Whatever back. Nitpicking monkeys? it takes one to know one, I guess. I said my final comment just before yours, and perhaps you did not read it.

  81. Rumbustious
    February 10, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Here are the actual figures of the number of nursing students graduating each year for the past 8 years: 33, 36, 31,36, 50, 49, 44, 48, 48. (The nursing program was enlarged in 2005). So if you take 15% of 50, that would be about 7 -8 nurses/year staying here — at least for a while.

  82. Rumbustious
    February 10, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    If you take this year’s cost of $1.26 million and divide that by an average 50 graduates that’s a cost of $25,200 per graduating student. The state gives the university about $7400 per full-time student enrolled. So you can see this is a very costly program. One has to ask if it’s cost-effective.

  83. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    You have more than graduating students in the program though. if you divided it by all the students in the program it seems like per year that figure could be cut at least in half. $12,500 a year is certainly common in a professional program that has immediate job prospects after graduation. Look at law, medical, dental school, hygiene school, optometry, and misc. post-grad studies. I wonder if the school considered that.

  84. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    How interesting that the focus of these threads is on the funding. As an HSU BSN graduate, I would like to offer my opinion that “the program” has failed (and been in said failure for years) due to staffing issues. Yes, let’s face it… the people were the problem. Give them all the money in the world and the program would have still failed due to the “dysfunction” eagerly skipped over and barely mentioned in most reports. It’s not nice to talk about but it’s the truth. The HSU nursing program needed the shock, the re-boot. Hopefully it can make a come-back, but this end/closure needed to happen in order to focus on the future.
    It can be thought of in an analogy. Say that someone (the HSU program) is dying. They have lived a long and happy life, but are experiencing a huge decline in quality of life over the last few years. Now, they find themselves on a ventilator (life-support) barely hanging on to life and certainly not functioning as they once did. President Roland had to make a decision… let them suffer on (for how long and at what expense) or simply end the suffering. He made the right choice. LET IT GO and Move On.
    Yes, BSN RNs theoretically practice on a broader foundation of theory and nursing history and are taught more management skills than ASN RNs, but the program’s internal dysfunction and chaotic environment was not setting a very good example. The local nursing community knows that CRs RNs are every bit as great as HSUs RNs and it will do us all some good to know that new-grads are graduating as confident, well-prepared nurses and not confused, stressed-out, ill-prepared or totally cynical grads. Good luck to all that are caught in the midst of such turmoil. As Desire sings, “Strengthen your mind, we’re livin’ in serious times…”

    February 10, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Humboldt Politico
    February 10, 2011 at 5:50 pm
    Jeffy, Jeffy, Jeffy…Is that the best you can do?

    Response: Hmmm, I am not trying to be the best at anything, especially mocking one’s real name while hiding from the community…….I know, you are too important of a person to disclose a real name.


  86. Not A Native
    February 10, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Anonymous correctly points out that cost wasn’t the most important factor in Richmond’s decision and the academic senate’s recommendation to terminate the program. It was the qualityof the program measured by the faculty’s (in)ability to carry out their organizational responsibilities to hire and retain their own members. Shared governance entails faculty running college academic departments, not the administration.

  87. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Funding is the bottom line for the school. If they don’t have it, they can’t run. The staff issue is obviously a huge problem, but even with a great staff the funding has to happen. Where to go from here?

  88. Humboldt Politico
    February 10, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Jeffy…Right in one.

    February 10, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    High Societal costs actually reduces funding through inflations and monetary supply saturation……if funding is based on the Federal Reserve fiat pyramid scheme, then funding will always be “over-valued” and “under-appropriated” regardless of inflationary impacts. Further, if a complaint is truly about personnel, then how can costs not be a part of that; afterall, wasting funding through staff/employee costs means that someone is over-paid for sabatoging the department from within, just sayin…… that funding and costs are directly tied together, often in opposition…. and as costs go up, funding will go down……… of course, this ain’t a home loan or anything like that being used to entrap folks…..no, never, lol. :-( .


  90. stressedoutnursingstudent
    February 13, 2011 at 7:08 am

    Random thoughts:
    Didn’t HSU’s nursing program have both a fall and spring admit? Were they graduating forty-plus students a semester or a year? The CR nursing program is limited to about forty to fortyfive students a year due to facility issues. They simply don’t have the space to train more students. The next couple of years will see many nurses (baby boomers!) move into retirement, I would expect to see some local impact.

  91. skippy
    February 13, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Times-Standard’s mighty Thadeus Greenson has an update:
    ”…Someone got an alert from their phone,” … of HSU’s decision to terminate its nursing program. “Everyone sort of stopped; our teacher was almost in tears. Everyone was startled…”

    Today’s full article by Mr. Greenson, Assessing the Fallout: Discontinuing Nursing at HSU Carries Host of Implications for Students, Health Care”
    is here:
    Times-Standard Link

  92. Owltotem
    February 13, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Thanks skips, innovative health care is a regional industry cluster of opportunity identified for investment that will spur economic growth and prosperity in Humboldt County, done right it will also fill a niche currently underserved, quality care. There has been huge resistance to the Red Cross’s “CNA” and In home Health Care Nursing Trainings from Eureka Adult School. The quality (and quantity) of residential care available locally for elderly is horrifying. The conditions Nurses are expected to tolerate and proliferate is unacceptable. This is an industry that should be invested in. It is an opportunity for growth, economic stability and good quality care for our citizens and no one sees it. I just do not understand people sometimes.

    I feel like there is going to be a huge push back everywhere, not just nursing, this is just another little iceburg tip sticking up. Drums in the Jungle Skips.

    I just feel like there is going to be a paradigmatic shift in everything, politics, investment, community participation, and a move back toward small business. Imaging if you had 1 X 20 bed elderly care facility, privately owned, a top notch nurse who could teach that would train people who wanted to be nurses how to provide, individualized care with compassion, with dignity, encouraged the values that people who want to be nurses naturally have. Imaging how that “small business” model would compare to monster, corporate, save a buck, fill a bed, turn a profit business model. Skips, the world is going to change. We are on a precipice. I feel it, I sense it, I know it. It is common sense.

  93. Owltotem
    February 13, 2011 at 10:05 am

    And, right now you have to continue to use terms like economic growth because america is so far away from understanding other types of “value”. watch this unfold skips, we are in an electronic age where people can communicate, share ideas, share resources, fill gaps, just watch skip, egypt was a foreshadowing. I feel this.

    February 13, 2011 at 10:12 am

    The E.T.er’s are coming too to prove mankind’s history is not what mankind is currently being taught – it is a God thing-a-ma-jiggy. It is a genetic thing-a-ma-jiggy. Darn religious puppets are gonna be mad.


  95. Owltotem
    February 13, 2011 at 10:26 am

    It is a spiritual thing a ma jiggy

  96. Owltotem
    February 13, 2011 at 10:26 am

    git n jiggy wit it

  97. skippy
    February 13, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Owl, yours truly didn’t know half of this that you noted so well. I always enjoys your insight and additions. Thank you, Owl.

  98. Owltotem
    February 13, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Me too you

  99. February 13, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    We are stakeholders of the state colleges and community
    colleges To attend a meeting on future actions which
    concern our citizens is not political , and when the major
    medical clinic and hospitals spoke in praise of the of the
    nurses from local training their advice was ignored/.So Cost weighted against Value. SAD

  100. skippy
    February 17, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    “Still there is hope for the continuation of bachelor-level nursing in the region. Even now, HSU officials, together with their counterparts at CR, Shasta College in Redding and College of the Siskiyous in Weed, hope to create a program that would take students from two-year schools straight through a bachelor’s degree.”

    North Coast Journal editor Tom Abate has more in today’s short article/update here, “Nursing Our Wounds”.

  101. February 22, 2011 at 9:57 am

    HSU is running scared–twenty California State Universities –Humboldt alone is axing it’
    nursing program.Although Humboldt is basically rural. were other alternatives seriously conside red?
    Possibilities existed for collaberation withCommunity Colleges= Could exchangss with Chico be worked out?Before elimination of a needed program should be community involvment. The bell tolls for thee>

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