Nursing College transforms South San Francisco Elementary School

The former Serra Vista Elementary School finds a good use as a Nursing College as well as Training Center for SSFUSD

The former Serra Vista Elementary School finds a good use as a Nursing College as well as Training Center for SSFUSD

Nursing College transforms South San Francisco Elementary School

The health care industry is one of the fastest growing businesses in the United States as CNN reported on March 13, 2013; ‘Call it the silver tsunami. Roughly every eight seconds, a Baby Boomer turns 65. And that has led to surging demand for in-home care’.

This demand also translates into the need for more nurses for those staffing skilled nursing homes, hospitals, urgent cares, as well as doctor offices.  As students look beyond graduation, and as many folks are changing employment, education for nursing has become more important to us all.

The San Francisco Peninsula is home to world renowned doctors, hospitals, and learning institutions such as UCSF and Stanford, as well as cutting edge discoveries in life science.  The Bay Area Census shows San Mateo County has seen nearly 10,000 more residents between 2000 and 2010 with the largest percentage of growth among those 65 and older.

At the same time our local school districts have been forced to shutter many of our schools, some have been sold, some are held as surplus properties.  What could be a win-win-win for all from this situation?

Enter Nursing Care Providers (NCP), a nursing college now utilizing the former Serra Vista Elementary School in South San Francisco.  At any given time you will find about 150 students hard at work in this straight forward approach to nursing education providing our community with dedicated, skilled, experienced nurses.

Students in one of the classrooms studying Photo: NCP

Students in one of the classrooms studying
Photo: NCP

We all have had experiences with nurses in our lives, yet seldom do we realize there are different levels of nursing requiring various levels of education, skill, and certification.  In our skilled nursing facilities and convalescent homes the need is great for R.N.s (Registered Nurses), and L.V.N. (Licensed Vocational Nurses) which are sometimes referred to as Licensed Practical Nurses, Licensed Attendants, Nursing Technicians, Home Health Nurses, and Home Health Care Providers. Medical offices may employ CNAs (Certified Nursing Assistants), RNs, and MAs (Medical Assistants). Home health care aids may also be CNAs and LVNs. Hospitals generally have a high demand for RNs and CNAs as we can see in our local Kaiser Hospitals, Seton, Mills-Peninsula. All aspects of nursing are important, needed, and are in demand, and will continue to be in demand.

Working in simulated clinical settings, students practice their skills Photo: NCP

Working in simulated clinical settings, students practice their skills
Photo: NCP

A visit at our former South San Francisco Serra Vista Elementary School*, which now houses NCP (Nursing Care Providers), included a guided tour by Hilda Montanez, M.A. the Admissions Coordinator.  For those whom are accustom to seeing our elementary schools filled with rambunctious children, this sight was far different as polite and cheerful adults walked between the lab classes, study/library and general classrooms.  The energy was upbeat and you could tell the students seemed dedicated and determined to get the best education, so they could be the best nurses and enter into a new field of employment.

While it is true, nursing is a calling of the heart, the pay for LVNs is noteworthy ranging $24-$28 per hour or $50,000 – $58,000 annually, with benefits in most nursing settings.  The California State average of those passing the National exam is 80%, NCP boasts 83% for their 2011 year. The length of study is 1,564 ‘clock hours’.

The NCP CNA program has a 90% Skills passing rate and 100% written pass rate.  The rate of pay is a San Francisco Bay Area medium of $17.48 hourly or $36,361 annually and in most settings benefits are provided.

The cost of the programs can be covered by financial aid, both from federal programs (Pell Grants, Direct Plus Loans) and other avenues such as Sallie Mae Loans and it is best to inquire directly to the school for more information.  The colleges have received accreditation from the Accrediting in Commission of Career Schools and College and also provide classes that are transferable to RN programs at Universities.  In addition CPR and IV Therapy are also offered.

The South San Francisco School Unified School District has been wise in retaining this property and allowing higher education to flourish, especially in an industry that will continue to see a higher need as time goes on.

NCP College of Nursing will be starting new sessions in April at both of their campuses, in South San Francisco and in Hayward. For more information contact them directly at 650-871-0701 or online at http://www.ncpcollegeofnursing.edu/

 *Serra Vista Elementary School is also home for the training for SSFUSD teachers.

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