Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, the historically Black educational institution in Los Angeles, is joining forces with CommonSpirit Health, one of the largest nonprofit health systems in the United States in an effort to address the severe shortage of nurses in California. Thousands of qualified applicants to nursing programs are turned away simply because existing nursing schools do not have the staff or clinical facilities to train the number of nurses needed to fill the healthcare gap.
The new partnership will allow Drew to add faculty and resources to train additional nurses. In addition to adding capacity to the university’s nursing program, the partnership will establish mentorship programs for high school students from underrepresented groups and build relationships with pre-college educators and guidance counselors to help ensure that students know their options and the prerequisite coursework necessary for a career in nursing.
“In addition to clinical excellence, our students are focused on social justice and health equity for underserved populations in our surrounding communities in South Los Angeles and around the world who are affected by health disparities,” said David M. Carlisle, president of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. “Expanding our program helps increase their impact and the likelihood that diverse patients have access to a provider who looks like them.”