North Coast Nursing Program Grows; Sutter Hospital Announces a $200,000 Grant for RN to BSN Program at HSU

Senator Mike McGuire surrounded by St. Joe's nurses.

Senator Mike McGuire surrounded by College of the Redwoods nursing students in March of last year. [Photo by Ryan Hutson]

Press release from Humboldt State University:

The vision of building the nursing workforce on the North Coast to improve the health and wellbeing of residents is becoming a reality.

At a press conference today, Senator Mike McGuire, College of the Redwoods President Keith Flamer, Humboldt State University President Tom Jackson, and Sutter Coast Hospital CEO Mitch Hanna, among others, celebrated the launch of the highly anticipated Licensed Vocational Nurse to Registered Nurse (LVN to RN) program in Del Norte County today and investments in the Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (RN to BSN) at Humboldt State, which is set to begin this fall.

“The launch of the College of the Redwood’s LVN to RN program and this fall’s launch of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at HSU are milestone moments for the North Coast. Our region has some of the most severe shortages of nurses in California and these programs will create hundreds of family sustaining careers and help drive down the cost of healthcare. We’re grateful for the partnership of Sutter Coast Hospital, and have been honored to work with both colleges to keep quality healthcare close to home,” Senator Mike McGuire said.

These programs will help address the severe nursing shortage on the North Coast by building local career opportunities with family sustaining wages and keeping quality healthcare close to home in rural Northern California.

Saturday’s event, attended by community and educational leaders along with over a dozen Del Norte County nursing students, celebrated the launch of College of the Redwoods’ LVN to RN program, which kicked off its first classes in January on the Crescent City campus.

“I want to thank the whole Del Norte community for their commitment and for being so tenacious over many years. I’ve heard your calls around the needs for healthcare education in this county, and I’m very proud that we are able to help answer that call today,” said College of the Redwoods President Keith Flamer.

These highly anticipated courses have been in the works for a decade now. The program will provide highly qualified nurses a pathway to the Humboldt State Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program and prepare residents for careers in local hospitals and health centers.

“We have a number of students here today who are at College of the Redwoods. And all of them, we hope, will be part of the Humboldt State Lumberjack family as part of the new BSN program. That program, I’m proud to say, is starting in Fall 2020,” Humboldt State University President Tom Jackson said.

Sutter Coast Hospital CEO Mitch Hanna announced a grant of $200,000 to the RN to BSN nursing program at Humboldt State University.

“Sutter Health believes deeply in its not-for-profit mission to ensure health care is accessible and affordable in the communities we serve. This is why I’m so very proud today to be here to continue to build on this collaboration and open up health career pathways in our community,” Hanna said.

The grant is one of several significant investments made by generous partners since the announcement of HSU’s RN to BSN program last year. The California Endowment has long supported healthcare careers in Del Norte County.

“I just want to thank all the people here today and all the people who came before us in this effort who believe that Del Norte can always be a place of health and lifelong success. I want to echo the thanks to the Senator for listening deeply to our community, and really using your power to get this essential piece over the line. To the nursing students, thank you. You are literally a dream come true for so many people in the community. And I’m just so excited to see what dreams our community makes come true together next,” said Geneva Wiki, California Endowment Senior Program Manager, Del Norte and Tribal lands.



  • I’m happy for all the nursing programs sad part is I never should have stopped in the past it’s wages are not good enough when they graduate they will leave to go to other areas so let’s hope the wages will come up to the standards all over the state

  • Yes but will our defunct hospital system hire them?!

  • Graduate here, then move to other areas where wages are higher, and there are better working conditions. St. Joseph has painted itself into a corner under the current leadership. They seem to be more interested in the all mighty dollar than paying good wages, along with good working conditions, and hiring more nurses and doctors. Only time will tell.

  • I hope that they can get doctors to come up to Humboldt, with 100000 of thousands in student loans and the social issues going on most doctors are not going to practice in the area. The do not want to raise their families up there nor can they afford too. Also is St Joseph’s still trying to leave.

    • JD, did you hear from someone that St. Joseph hospital is trying to leave this area? I guess I would not be too surprised if they did, considering their love of money.

  • Not sure where you get all of your facts regarding the hospital, but the wages here are very competitive and then benefits are amazing.

  • Wages here a very competitive. Everyone seems to forget about housing and utility costs. Sure you’ll make more in San Francisco. You’ll pay higher rent, parking for your car and utilities will be double.

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