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How Will CSUB’s MSN/FNP Program Help Our Community?
Nurse practitioners play a critical role in the delivery of primary healthcare services. The Robert Wood Foundation’s Health Policy Workforce has concluded that access to primary care is in jeopardy:
- The U.S. population and healthcare workforce are aging, setting the stage for shortages and a sweeping loss of experience in all health fields.
- The Affordable Care Act has resulted in a dramatic increase of Americans with healthcare insurance, exacerbating access barriers in regions where primary care services were already scarce.
In the Central Valley, our communities have additional challenges:
- A shortage of primary care providers. In Kern County, there are over 2,000 patients for every primary care physician, which is nearly double the national average. CSUB can help ease this shortage and improve healthcare access by preparing FNPs to work in a variety of local settings.
- Poor health outcomes. According to Kern County’s Health Status Profile for 2013, residents in our community are experiencing serious health problems. Our county ranks 2nd highest in the state of California for deaths related to diabetes and coronary artery disease. Several other key indicators—including the high rates of chlamydia, teen pregnancy, low birthweight infants, and low rates of breastfeeding initiation—show that health education is desperately needed.
The mission of the FNP Program is to prepare advance practice nurses for primary care practitioner roles to improve the availability, accessibility, and quality of primary care services in Kern County. In addition, MSN program graduates are qualified to serve in leadership positions in healthcare organizations, and as faculty members for local RN programs.