MBEP Member Spotlight:

New Health Sciences Building, Supportive Programs
at Hartnell College are Helping to Prepare the
Next Generation of Nursing Students

A new Center for Nursing and Health Sciences is helping MBEP member Hartnell College meet the demand for healthcare and public health workers while preparing students for those careers in innovative ways. A $3 million grant from Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare Systems is helping fund the college’s programs there.

The two-story, 24,000-square-foot building on Hartnell’s Main Campus in Salinas brings together classrooms, study rooms and a hospital-like clinical setting, inviting collaboration among students and staff. Simulation rooms let students work on hypothetical cases, and an artificial reality room — one of only two such learning environments in California — will feature a projector that can immerse students in situations designed to prepare them for real-world situations. Under development are an onsite community clinic that could potentially serve the campus and community and a program for returning healthcare workers.

And to ensure that those nursing students succeed and earn their degrees, FirstGenRN is helping first-generation college students navigate some of their unique challenges. The University of California, San Francisco-led project provides mentoring, financial tips, and camaraderie to first-generation nursing students, who experience higher rejection rates on student essays and recommendation letters than for students whose parents attended college. Hartnell is among four campuses supported by the project, which has received about $1 million in grants since launching, including a $250,000 private donation and $250,000 in federal funding to extend FirstGenRN at Hartnell through 2024.

Through monthly meetings, FirstGenRN helps students navigate issues such as family members who don’t understand or fully support their academic endeavors, feelings of isolation, financial insecurity, self-care and access to resources.

News courtesy of KSBW, MedPage Today. Pictured, Respiratory Care students Krunal Doshi and Raquel Vega practice intubation in one of the new Center for Nursing and Health Sciences classrooms. Photo courtesy of Hartnell College. Photo, right, courtesy of FirstGenRN/UCSF.