The Santa Barbara area will gain new qualified nurses in the local health care workforce with Santa Barbara City College awarding the Associate in Science Nursing degree to 31 graduates on December 11, 2010. Following with a 150-year-old, time-honored tradition, each graduate received a ceremonial nursing pin, considered a medal of honor and a badge of courage within the nursing profession.
The two-year, four-semester Associate Degree Nursing program covers both classroom instruction and clinical practicum at local healthcare organizations including Cottage Health System and other agencies in the community. The graduates are now eligible to take the state board examination for licensure as registered nurses (R.N.). At the A.D.N. level of Registered Nursing, graduates are prepared to work in a variety of health care settings and use their skills to manage a group of patients and to provide leadership to other health care team members.
“These graduates are definitely very motivated and caring people,” said Sheri Shields, SBCC Associate Professor, Associate Degree Nursing. “The program is very intense academically, and the process is long and arduous from pre-requisite science courses, a two-year wait to enter the program, and then a four-semester curriculum of study.” Ms. Shields added that nursing is still one of the highest paid professions right out of college in which jobs are still available. She estimates that approximately 80 percent of graduates find work locally and remain in the area.
“Training and retaining qualified nurses remain key health care challenges in our community,” said SBCC Superintendent/President Dr. Andreea Serban. “Working with such excellent partners as Cottage Health System, SBCC is able to help meet this critical need. Our nursing graduates are highly qualified professionals and we are proud of their academic achievements and dedication to the noble nursing profession.”
Graduate Allison Tedesco said, “The journey has been long and hard but in the end completely worth it. I have been so lucky to have had some of the greatest teachers, lab staff, and instructors throughout the program who have shared their incredible knowledge and compassion for nursing.” She added, “Their unwavering dedication and true passion for what they do is incredible, and it has given me the confidence and knowledge base to become an excellent nurse.”