MENDOCINO AND LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – Known as the mother of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale is quoted as saying, “Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation, as any painter’s or sculptor’s work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God’s spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts: I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts.”
This admiration for the art of nursing is something that Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital, Sutter Lakeside Hospital and Ukiah Valley Medical Center genuinely believe in.
In 2014 alone all three hospitals united to provide $80,000 to the nursing program at Mendocino Community College.
According to Katie Fairbairn, executive director of the Mendocino College Foundation, “The contributions from our local hospitals enable the nursing program to provide top caliber, highly sought after programing for our region.”
Currently there is enough interest in the nursing program that prospective students have to enter a lottery for placement into the program.
“Students in the program receive hands on experience in state-of-the-art classrooms and are taught by highly skilled nursing faculty,” said Fairbairn. “The contribution from the hospitals allows us to provide an adequate student-teacher ratio, which in turn gives our students a higher level of instructional support, resulting in a 96.4 percent pass rate on the nursing state board examination.”
Arturo Reyes, superintendent and president at Mendocino College, expressed his enthusiasm for the hospitals contributions by saying, “We are very pleased to count on the visionary leadership and generosity of the hospitals. Their annual funding provides an important resource to sustain our remarkable nursing program. The monies directly impact student instruction, increase student access and facilitate students’ continued academic success.”
Reyes added, “Our partnership with the hospitals and their monetary assistance strengthen our nursing program and ensure we can continue to prepare and graduate exceptional professionals to work in our communities. Without the continued financial support of the hospitals our program would be severely impacted and we would, without a doubt, serve fewer students.”
Hospital officials gladly support the nursing program and understand that the contribution to the program returns to the hospitals and the community in several different ways.
The nursing program provides highly skilled and trained professional jobs for our community. These nurses then help support our local economy and community be settling down and residing within the communities the hospitals support.
Siri Nelson, chief administrative officer of Sutter Lakeside Hospital, believes wholeheartedly in supporting the nursing program.
“We hope that our contribution gives students the opportunity to not only train for success in a highly valued career path, but that it also encourages them to stay and work in Northern California,” she said. “Every single day we hear compliments about the quality of our nursing staff – a large number of who trained at Mendocino College. What better way to be a good community steward than reinvesting in our future workforce?”
Similarly, Gwen Matthews, president and chief executive officer of Ukiah Valley Medical Center, said, “What an honor it is to be a part of the education process helping to create a valuable career path for those wanting to expand their career horizons in the field of nursing. It’s a true calling if you have an opportunity to truly touch people – community members at the most vulnerable times in their lives. Career wise there is nothing as challenging or rewarding as being a nurse and a caregiver.”
“I am so glad we have this program at Mendocino College,” said Howard Memorial Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Rick Bockmann. “We currently have approximately 25 Mendocino College nursing graduates working for us. Mendocino College’s program allows us to choose nurses who are dedicated to giving back to the community. I am so glad we have an opportunity to support the nursing program.”
To date Howard Memorial Hospital, Sutter Lakeside Hospital and Ukiah Valley Medical Center have contributed a total of $502,000 in support of “the finest of fine arts” at Mendocino College.