Sonoma State University's Nursing Transition into Practice Certificate Program started three years ago with 38 students. Next month, 109 students will be completing the 10-week course that has a 98 percent job placement rate.
"There's been a wave of retirements in the nursing community," says SSU nursing department chair Deborah Roberts. "We need an avalanche of new nurses."
The 10-week program places students into an internship at one of eight participating hospitals in Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties. One of the requirements for hospitals to participate in the program is that they offer a job after a successful internship.
"We only select students from our region for this program because it helps our local economy," says Roberts, who notes that students from beyond SSU are part of the program. The program accepts applicants who have graduated within 18 months of the start of the session.
"It's been incredibly successful," says Roberts. "It's about understanding the needs of our community partners and bridging that gap between education and employment."
SSU, which saw a total of 73 graduates from its nursing program this fall, was ranked 8th-best nursing school in the nation by College Atlas in 2014.