A Message from the President: Decision to Discontinue Nursing Program

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.


Rollin C. Richmond