Annual Report of Giving

Health and Human Services

Preparing the next generation of caregivers

Health and Human Services
“It may sound cliché, but I just want to help people,” says nursing student Taylor Coffin. “I love being able to come in the mornings and make someone feel better. Pictured are students from the School of Nursing.

Campaign for Nursing will help program expand

To say that Sacramento State’s nursing program has had a very good year is an understatement. It has a new home, a new name and is the beneficiary of a $1.8 million fundraising campaign to provide high-tech labs, classrooms and computers to help prepare the next generation of nurses.

Students and faculty are already reaping the benefits of the School of Nursing’s move from undersized El Dorado Hall to Folsom Hall, and support from The Campaign for Nursing that has increased classroom and laboratory space six-fold.

“The Folsom Hall facility is truly state-of-the-art and one of the best in the nation,” says George Crandell, chair of the University Foundation at Sacramento State, which pledged to raise $500,000 for the School. “It provides the students with a realistic training experience, and the faculty with the tools and resources to advance Sac State’s well-deserved reputation for graduating exceptional nurses. Anyone taking a tour of the facility would be blown away.” Students get to practice in state-of-the-art labs with high-tech patient simulation mannequins that can mimic the symptoms and mannerisms of live patients, providing an optimum teaching and learning experience along with a clinical environment more in line with what students might find in hospital settings. An instructor, sitting at a console behind a two-way mirror, can dial in a variety of maladies from a stomach ache to cardiac arrest to give students a near real-world experience in patient response.

“The more time we spend with the high-fidelity and mid-fidelity simulation mannequins the better we become,” says nursing student Matt Smith.

“During the sim labs, you are able to reflect on your learning without putting an actual patient’s life at risk,” says nursing student Taylor Coffin. “You think over and over again, ‘Was there a different way? Could I have done something faster? Could I have done something better?’ I take that home with me. It’s a great learning experience.”

The increase in space and equipment is not only a boon to Sac State, but to California since the School has plans to graduate more students, while providing an even greater level of education, says Carolynn Goetze, chair of the School of Nursing. That’s important because studies show California can expect a shortage of 12,000 registered nurses by 2014, which could have a significant negative impact on the region’s health care services.

“It may sound cliché, but I just want to help people,” Coffin says, “I love being able to come in the mornings and make someone feel better. I think that is so important, and I’m ready to get out there and do it. Yes, I have some anxiety about stepping out there on my own, but I’m not afraid that I don’t know what I’m doing. With all the clinical hours that we do in this program, they set you up for success.”