More than 100 future nurses have enrolled in the Helping Our People Elevate (HOPE) Program for Nursing at San Joaquin Delta College, the result of a multi-employer collaboration with educators fostered by HealthForce Partners.
The program assists current employees of healthcare facilities who wish to pursue a nursing career as well as local high school students at Health Careers Academy who are pursuing associate degrees in nursing.
Registered Nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their families. Registered Nurses work closely with doctors and other healthcare professionals.
At age 18, Shazia Begum was working as a PBX operator at St. Joseph's. She moved into a secretarial position while she was caring for a sick family member and realized that she wanted to become a nurse. Begum was the first in her family to attend college and despite having completed the licensed vocational nursing (LVN) program, she was having difficulties getting into a nursing program. She found a pathway through the HOPE program. A member of the first cohort of 25 students, she and her fellow students were employees of Adventist Health Lodi Memorial Hospital, Community Medical Centers and St. Joseph's who all had dreams of advancing their careers.
"I have been employed at Dignity Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center for 15 years in administrative roles, but my dream has always been to be a nurse. For years, getting admitted into a nursing program has been out of reach. But I was accepted into Helping Our People Elevate (HOPE) and was admitted directly into San Joaquin Delta College's 18-month accelerated registered nursing program. Becoming a nurse in a local program that partners with my employer helps ensure I could continue to work while I pursued my education. Through this opportunity I was finally able to improve the economic conditions for myself and my family." - Shazia Begum, HOPE Graduate.