Kaweah Health joins forces with Unitek to expand workforce education

Unitek Learning and Kaweah Health are thrilled to announce a new partnership to help reduce the nursing shortage in California. Together, they seek to implement a customized workforce solution that will produce skilled and educated graduates who are ready to enter the medical field and help integrated health systems such as a Kaweah Health care for their patients.

Kaweah Health, which for 60 years has served patients in California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley, has worked diligently over the years through local and regional partnerships to solve its nursing shortage, but the pandemic highlighted the need to do more.

Founded in 2002, Unitek College is a division of Unitek Learning and an accredited, private institution that combines unique academic and technical specialties to provide a superior education in the areas of healthcare and nursing. Unitek College offers seven convenient facilities in California with campuses in Fremont, San Jose, Hayward, Concord, South San Francisco, Sacramento, and Bakersfield.

“The pandemic has been absolutely crippling to our workforce, the majority of which are bedside nurses. It’s shown us that we have to do more, we have to think outside the box to grow the next generation of nurses,” said Lynn Havard Mirviss, RN, Ed.D, and Vice President of Kaweah Health’s Board of Directors. “There are many out there who like Florence Nightingale are ready to step up and serve. This partnership with Unitek is one way to help these men and women become nurses and raise the standards of care for patients.”

Through this partnership, employees of Kaweah Health can start their career in nursing through Unitek’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) as soon as 2023. At full complement, the Kaweah Health school of nursing powered by Unitek will graduate up to 50 Kaweah Health RNs a year. The college also offers an LVN to BSN option for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. It serves as an advanced placement track for qualifying students.

“This new partnership will be an excellent opportunity for Kaweah Health employees to continue their education and to help address the nursing shortage at both Kaweah Health and across the state,” said Dianne Cox, Chief Human Resources Officer at Kaweah Health. She added: “In the future, we plan to open this school to members of the community, who will be able to join Kaweah Health as an employee while pursuing their nursing degree.”

“It has been a pleasure to work with the Kaweah Health Team and develop this partnership,” said Karilyn Van Oosten, Vice President of Strategic Business Development at Unitek Learning. “Their commitment to the community and the workforce has been evident in every step they took to ensure that students can flourish in their facilities.”

By joining this partnership, Unitek Learning has committed to providing employees of Kaweah Health with a specialized tuition rate and an opportunity to advance their healthcare career. Kaweah Health is committing financial resources to help offset the nursing students’ tuition. Through this partnership, Unitek Learning has identified themselves as one of the nation’s most dedicated academic institutions.

“At Unitek, we are committed to education and workforce alignment so that the next generation can thrive,” said Janis Paulson, Chief Executive Officer at Unitek Learning. “We’re honored to join forces with Kaweah Health and help transform the healthcare workforce. As a learning institution, we want to create career-ready professionals that are needed in the medical industry. This partnership is a step forward for Unitek as we continue to educate future healthcare professionals.”

Unitek Learning is the parent company of several distinguished learning institutions: Unitek College, Unitek EMT, Eagle Gate College, Provo College, and Brookline College. Unitek programs teach the clinical practices and theory used in the field today. Equipped with a multitude of sought-after skills, Unitek graduates are prepared to excel in many of the fastest-growing careers in healthcare and nursing.

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