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The San Francisco Bay Area was already facing a shortage of nurses prior to the rise in COVID-19 cases, and Intensive CareUnit rooms are filling up to capacity. The spread of the coronavirus has only exacerbated the shortage focusing on local colleges and universities offering nursing programs to fill the gap.
According to the California State University, East Bay’s Department of Nursing database, CSUEB averaged 114 graduating nurses between 2010 and 2020. Graduating would be a good start in filling the nursing shortage gap; however, due to the pandemic, when campus shut down in-person classes, it delayed admitting new cohorts and delaying graduation for other cohorts.
“Ultimately, we had to have a faculty vote… and we had to delay the cohort. I really felt for them… a month prior to the start of the school, they received the notification that they would not be able to start because we did not have the clinical placements for them,” said Dr. Sahar Nouredini. Nouredini is the Community Health Course Lead, and Post Licensure Coordinator for the CSUEB Nursing Department.
For the students who were near the end of the program, they were still able to stay on track to graduate on time.
“So we really tried hard to keep students on track as possible. The students who are near the program were able to finish the program on time, thankfully… Hospitals were still willing to work with them as they were so close, and I think they knew that they would need them,” Nouredini said, “Everybody else who is not as far along in the program they have been delayed.”
With the COVID-19 vaccines being distributed, there is the optimism of a possible return to in-person instruction in the Fall of 2021.