UCI’s largest gift ever funds new School of Nursing
The foundation gift, the largest in UCI history, will fund construction of a state-of-the-art building, dramatically increasing classroom and research space. The Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing also plans to double faculty size and student enrollment and to expand nurse-managed community clinics.
“The campus has long desired to have our nursing program become a school, and we are thrilled that the day has come,” said UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman. “A terrific combination of public and private support will ensure a top-quality education for many more talented students – and enable us to hire nursing field leaders to train them – to help fill the pipeline of prepared healthcare professionals.”
The school will grow rapidly to address a nationally identified need for 1.2 million new nurses in the next five years. As Baby Boomers grow older and veteran caregivers and professors retire, California and other parts of the Southwest are already seeing shortages.
California’s nurse-to-population ratio has ranked a dismal 48th in the nation for the past 10 years. In 2013, California had an estimated 657 RNs for every 100,000 population, well below the national average of 874 RNs per 100,000. The Nurse Workforce Report Card gave California’s RN supply a “D” grade and projects that by 2030 the state will be more than 193,000 nurses short of its nursing needs.
UCI’s Nursing Science Program has earned a strong reputation since it began in 2007. NurseJournal.org named UCI nursing as one of the top 10 programs in the western United States, and its nurse practitioner faculty is consistently ranked in the country’s top 25. At UCI, nursing ranks as one of the most competitive majors with an acceptance rate of only 3.6 percent, according to reports. The campus received more than 2,450 applications in the fall for 40 freshman slots.
The UCI nursing school’s enrollment will double in the next decade, from about 200 to about 400 students.