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Albert Honored as Statewide Leader in Nursing Education

SANTA CLARITA - The Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL) has honored Sue Albert, dean of the Allied Health Department at College of the Canyons, for her leadership in nursing education. Albert was a co-recipient of the 2004 Best Practice-Clinical Nursing Award.

Albert and Linda Coale, chief nursing officer at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, were recognized for championing the Southern California Associate Degree Nursing Regional Collaborative, a college-hospital partnership whose goal is to educate an additional 100 nurses a year to help alleviate the statewide nursing shortage.

"There have been several statewide meetings to address the nursing shortage and ways to increase enrollment capacity of the nursing schools," Albert said. "This collaborative incorporates all of the suggestions – the partnership with service and schools, distance and non-traditional means to educate students, and funding sources other than health-care entities."

The collaborative is the largest of its kind in California, counting seven hospitals and five colleges among its membership, Albert said.

Educational partners in the collaborative include College of the Canyons, Glendale Community College, Ventura College, Los Angeles Valley College and L.A. Pierce College. Hospital partners include Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, lendale Adventist Medical Center, Sherman Oaks Hospital & Health Center, Northridge Hospital Medical Center, Community Memorial Hospital of San Buenaventura and Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.

The collaborative represents an innovative way for colleges and hospitals to share resources and ultimately produce more nurses. Despite waiting lists of candidates, the colleges have been unable to expand their nursing programs because of limited instructors and classroom space.

Under the collaborative, the colleges teach those on waiting lists via live and interactive video teleconferencing at the hospitals, which also provide the necessary skills labs. The new nursing program began with 103 students on Jan. 4.

"We have an outstanding faculty among the five schools, and they have done a wonderful job of working together to provide an outstanding program," Albert added.

Funding for this innovative $1.8 million program was obtained from the Weingart Foundation, The Annenberg Foundation, the Foundation of National Student Nurses Assocation, and the hospitals, most of which contributed $100,000 to the project.

Albert received the award during the 27th Annual ACNL Conference in Monterey on Feb. 8. The award recognizes nurse leaders for excellence in nursing leadership and advancement of clinical practice.