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Kaiser Fresno To Host Nursing Program

Kaiser Permanente Fresno

The San Joaquin Valley’s largest city will soon be home to a new nursing program.

Through a program offered by Samuel Merritt University in partnership with Kaiser Permanente Fresno, registered nurses will be able to obtain a Bachelor’s of Science degree in nursing. Although the private health sciences university is located in Oakland, students would be based entirely in Fresno. Each cohort of 24 nurses would continue working while taking part-time classes at a university building at Cedar and Herndon.

“When you enhance your education you just have a better ability to assess and make decisions,” says Paulina Van, a nursing professor at Samuel Merritt. “Going through this process transforms the thinking of each of these nurses to think outside of the box, to become more innovative.”

Fresno will be the university’s fifth location for an RN to BSN program, Van says, in part thanks to demand from local nurses. “They’ve been asking for this program, the opportunity to advance their education,” she says, “so they’ve kind of been the fuel for this.”

The program’s inaugural class will run for 20 months beginning in January. Applications have been open since the summer and are due November 1.

*An earlier version of this story mistakenly referred to the building at Cedar and Herndon as a Kaiser building.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.