From Dateline (October 9, 2003)
New Nursing Concentration in Women's
Health Care Offered
Students seeking a master of science degree in nursing
now have a new area of specialization to consider. This fall, nursing
launched a new concentration in women’s health care.
The concentration complements the other three areas
of specialization offered: family nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist
and nursing administration.
“Our research indicates that providing
high-quality women’s health care is one of the fastest growing
needs in our community,” said B.J. Snell, director of the
women’s health concentration. “To ensure that students
are well-prepared to meet these needs, we developed a new concentration
for our master of science in nursing.”
Students in the concentration will be required to
complete the standard core nursing classes, as well as courses and
clinical education that deal specifically with women’s health
issues. Graduates will be eligible for certification as a nurse
midwife or a women’s health care nurse practitioner.
“When we’re talking about women’s
health, we are focusing on women from about age 12, when a girl
first begins menstruation, through her lifetime,” said Snell.
“Because there is such a wide age span, we must offer a broad
perspective on health. As we’ve seen through recent research,
the health care needs of women are often much different than those
of men. By providing education that is more specific to women, students
will not only be able to treat problems but provide education and
preventive measures to enhance the health of their patients.”
With severe nursing shortages, programs of this type
are not only beneficial to the community-at-large but can be equally
attractive to new students, she noted.
“There has been an identified need for
this program,” Snell said. “We are committed to building
the finest nursing program in Orange County, and we believe this
is necessary to ensure the health of the community and meet the
needs of students.”
Currently, Cal State Fuller-ton is the only institution
in Orange County that offers both bachelor’s and master’s
degrees in nursing.
In fact, it was the advanced practice training component
of the program that helped Snell successfully garner a three-year,
$96,480 grant from the Department of Health Services, Maternal and
Child Health Branch. The award is specifically designed to support
advanced nurse training in midwifery and women’s health care.
“The opportunities for students who complete
this program are enormous,” said Snell. “They can go
on to careers in private practice, hospital-based programs and clinics.
Because there is such a need for these kinds of services, students
have many options – they can work full-time or part-time in
a variety of settings”
To achieve educational and clinical goals, nursing
has partnered with UCI Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente and a variety
of smaller community clinics throughout the county.
“This program makes sense for both the
community and the students,” Snell said. “Cal State
Fullerton is helping to fill the void that is growing in the nursing
profession. There is a shortage of advanced practice providers in
women’s health now, and there are projections that it’s
going to get worse as more and more nurses start to retire. Developing
a new concentration in a needed area just makes good sense.”