By Andrew Schwartz with photography by Elisabeth Fall. Reprinted with permission from the UCSF School of Nursing.
The UCSF School of Nursing is partnering with Hartnell College to prepare first-generation-to-college students to become nurses, equipped with the skills to advance health care for residents in the underserved Salinas Valley.
The new effort builds on UCSF’s FirstGenRN program — the first of its kind in the country — that identifies applicants and students who are the first in their family to go to college, and provides them with mentoring and other support to help them succeed.
At Hartnell College, a public community college in Salinas, the majority of students are the first in their families to attend college and the student population is over 60% Hispanic.
The UCSF-Hartnell partnership aims to nurture first-generation-to-college nursing students whose unique experiences, combined with the training they receive, will enable them to provide quality patient care in the community from which they hail. In particular, students are being trained to deliver elder care to the county’s growing population of older adults.
“The impact that these future nurses will have on the aging agricultural community in the Salinas Valley is significant, especially since we know the average life expectancy of a farm worker in the US is 49 years old,” said Laura M. Wagner, PhD, RN, FAAN, who founded the FirstGenRN program in 2017 and is leading the partnership with Hartnell College.
Three facts explain the powerful logic behind the partnership...