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Kaiser Permanente's Northern California Partnership with East Bay Schools

Arlene Sargent
Director of Education & Employee Development,
Patient Care Services

We are pleased to announce that Kaiser Permanente Northern California Workforce for Tomorrow Strategic Planning Committee partnered with nine Bay Area Schools with innovative educational program curriculum to promote Nursing and other Allied Health careers in their schools. Many of these programs are changing the lives of students who may not have an immediate direction or purpose or who otherwise might not have the opportunity to reach life long dreams.

Arlene Sargent, Patient Care Services Director of Education and Employee Development, says, “The main purpose of the partnership is to allocate funds through the Program Office to build the nursing workforce and increase the number of registry nurses working in the community.” She continues by saying, “The only way to generate interest early on is to do youth outreach.”

All Kaiser Permanente regions are being given dollars every year and the funding is allocated based on the number of registered nurses in the region. California has the greatest need for nurses. Northern California is a large region and gets a large portion of the allocated funds. Many of the dollars are allocated to meet the needs of specific specialty nursing areas such as Operating Room nurses, Infection Control nurses and Critical Care nurses. Another portion is allocated toward putting people in the educational programs so that these specialty nursing positions can be filled.

The schools represented include Andrew Hill High School Nursing/Health Care Academy; Oakland Technical High School Health and Bioscience Academy; University of California Berkeley SAGE Scholars Program Mentoring Leadership Ropes Course and Young Leaders Conference; Woodside High School Business Technology Academy; Menlo-Atherton High School Computer Academy; Carlmont High School Business Technology Academy; Sequoia Electron Arts Academy; Oakland Unified School Districts’ LIFE Academy of Health and Biosciences Academy; and Juma Ventures Health Career Exploration Program.

The Northern California Workforce for Tomorrow Strategic Planning Committee was charged with the selection process, success criteria and evaluation of the schools chosen this year. Funding for the schools included a written plan to integrate Academy curriculum with other required classes, job shadow experience, diversity reflected in student population, particularly with males and underrepresented minorities, and pre-screening to determine the student’s interest, motivation, and commitment to the program. The success criteria will be based on programs that demonstrate the attributes of an 80% graduation rate, innovative/alternative teaching strategies for the nontraditional student, recognition and award programs for students’ demonstration of academic excellence and a parental involvement program.

Sargent says, “The evaluation of the programs’ success is difficult since we won’t officially know the impact we have with the youth for a few years from our initial connection with them.” She continues, “However, we are having an impact on the image of nursing as a profession. One of the challenges with our profession is that people have a very limited image of a registered nurse. They don’t fully understand the level of skills required and the complex knowledge needed or the amount of money that can be made in the nursing profession.”

Each of these schools will be featured in upcoming articles about our “School Partnership Programs.” We will start with the most unique of all the school partnerships and that partnership is with the school called Juma Ventures in San Francisco. Look for information about Juma and the other school partnership programs on the CNCC website under “Featured Stories.”

Release Date: July 20, 2005

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