New Pacific nursing program to offer scholarships for diabetes care

Abbott MSN

University of the Pacific nursing students interested in pursuing diabetes care could get 50% of their tuition covered by a new scholarship.

In an effort to battle the high rate of diabetes in the Stockton area, University of the Pacific established the Abbott Fund Scholars program with the Abbott Fund, the foundation of the global health care company Abbott.

“San Joaquin County sits at the epicenter of the diabetes problem,” said Karen Hanford, the founding director of Pacific’s Master of Science in Nursing programs. “In Stockton alone, almost 50% of adults have prediabetes and 10% have diabetes.”

The Abbott Fund Scholars program is designed to provide nursing students in Pacific’s new Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing (ELMSN) program with tools to acquire in-depth knowledge of diabetes care and management and gain competencies in diabetes prevention, management and education. Qualifying ELMSN students will be eligible for a scholarship to cover 50% or more of tuition for the 24-month program.

Nursing students in the program will also be assigned an adviser and will complete all their required clinical rotations in the Stockton region. Their academic projects will focus in the areas of health promotion and disease management, advanced pharmacology, population health, nursing of adults and older adults and community health.

"The collaboration between Abbott Fund and Pacific will greatly benefit our nursing students,” said Hanford. “They'll gain advanced knowledge and skills to better meet the needs of patients with diabetes. Due to the shift in healthcare in our communities, today’s nurses need these advanced competencies to manage and care for patients with such complex chronic illnesses."

In exchange, nursing students commit to serving patients in Stockton after completing their coursework.

Stockton not only has a high rate of diabetes but also a shortage of care providers and diabetes educators in the region, a symptom of a nationwide shortage. The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development identified portions of Stockton as Primary Care Shortage Areas and designated San Joaquin County as a Registered Nurse Shortage Area.

“The everyday conditions in which we're born, live, learn, work and play have a significant impact on the health of individuals, families and communities,” said Suki McClatchey, director of Global Citizenship at Abbott.  “Together with University of the Pacific, we're working to help address an important part of this challenge: a shortage of trained health workers.” 

Read related: Pacific teams with Abbott Fund to tackle diabetes crisis in Stockton