[UPDATE] Milestone Moment: Humboldt State University Opens Enrollment for New Nursing Program


Humboldt State University [Photo by Oliver Cory]

Press release from HSU:

After years of planning and fund-raising, Humboldt State University is set to launch the new Bachelors of Science in Nursing program this fall. It is a milestone moment for healthcare here on the North Coast.

Humboldt State University and Senator Mike McGuire, who along with College of the Redwoods created a partnership to establish the North Coast Nursing Program, are proud to announce the University is accepting student applications!

“This is a milestone day for the North Coast. Three years ago we came together in a groundbreaking partnership to strengthen our local healthcare systems and create family sustaining careers. The formal launch of the Nursing Program at HSU and CR’s LVN program in Crescent City came about thanks to the 100% partnership between Humboldt State University and the College of the Redwoods along with generous community donors,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “We know these programs will help drive down the cost of healthcare and educate the next generation of nurses throughout the greater North Coast Region.”

The HSU program allows nurses graduating from CR to continue their education without having to leave the community. It is also designed for nurses in the region who would like to seek an advanced degree to obtain additional skills and training.

Blending in-person and online coursework, the hybrid program will allow registered nurses with an associate’s degree to pursue a bachelor’s degree. The coursework is designed to accommodate working nurses, and the first cohort will graduate in May 2022.

“I am eager to meet and work with these students,” says Kimberly Perris, Nursing program director. “Our first cohorts will be instrumental in co-creating a program that addresses the unique needs of our North Coast communities.”

The programs would not have been possible without the generous support from the regions’ Health Care Organizations and the Humboldt Area Foundation.

“We are profoundly blessed to have played a role in helping bring back the HSU Bachelor of Science in Nursing program,” said Roberta Luskin-Hawk, MD, chief executive, St. Joseph Health, Humboldt County. “Our $2 million dollar grant will help support a program that will contribute to the advanced education of the next generation of nurses and nursing leaders in Humboldt County, sustaining the rich legacy of caring for our founding Sisters chartered a century ago.”

“The program not only addresses an important workforce need, but its design and focus is a reflection of our region,” says Shawna Young, Dean of the College of Professional Studies.

The program is designed to prepare nurse leaders to practice cultural humility, responsive to rural areas populated by diverse communities, including indigenous communities. The program has a focus on addressing health disparities, rural health needs, and behavioral health, which includes substance use disorder, mental health, and historical trauma. The program format allows part-time students to complete the program in 21 months and full-time students complete the program in 11 months; both models include summer sessions. On-site training will take place at healthcare facilities throughout the region.

“Many of the students who have inquired about the BSN program are registered nurses who have worked in the community for years,” Perris says. “They seek leadership skills to improve healthcare for the patients they serve. These nurses know first-hand the barriers their patients face and the challenges of our remote and rural regions. This program will provide nurses with the opportunity to research and apply solutions to address those challenges.”

Learn more about the RN to BSN Nursing program.

UPDATE June 10: HSU sent out this update, “Registered Nurses can apply now to begin Humboldt State University’s RN-BSN program in Fall 2020. The first 25 qualified applicants will be accepted to the inaugural part-time cohort. The program is designed to be a hybrid model with a blend of online and in-person courses, however, the first semester will be all online. Those interested in applying should visit the RN to BSN Nursing website and view the recorded informational webinar and application checklist. The webinar addresses the process for applying for Fall 2020, as well as Fall 2021, which will include part-time and full-time cohorts.”



  • An RN by any other program is still an RN.

    I have no idea what RN to BSN means. If you are an RN why would attending a BSN make any difference. If you have a job at a hospital as an RN does the pay scale indicate a margin wide enough for you to to quit your RN job and return to school for two to three years. The RN is a licensed program that HSU has nothing to do with. Your BSN does not include the RN. If you attend a two year program and receive your RN what would make adding additional time at a four year BSN program. You have already passed the RN test. It is a mystery.

    • BSNs are paid more. They have 2 extra years of schooling as a foundation of their practice.

      The 2 year program I attended basically taught to the state boards. I felt totally unprepared when I graduated from a JC program.

      I guess it’s good HSU fired up the RN to BSN again–after all, “Health Care” is a growing concern. $$$

      Making money of other people’s misery since the 80s~

  • More book learning?

    My sister is a RN and she always says everything she learned about nursing she learned on the job.

    • Maybe not everything but the massive discarding of what was supposed to be important and the accretion of the constantly useful that was never mentioned in class does take a few years.

      This is a good opportunity to thank the many nurses who have made life better for those trapped in a hospital.

  • While a BSN will help a practicing nurse to move up the payscale, unfortunately HSU’s new program does not address the RN shortage in California by training new nurses to enter the profession.

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