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Major San Francisco Hospital Charged With Discrimination by California Nurses Association and Filipino Community Groups

Filipino community organizations and a leading state nurses association are charging San Francisco hospital California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) with “systematic discrimination,” due its reported ongoing practice of discouraging the employment of Filipino nurses.

In a press release issued on August 19, the California Nurses Association (CNA), an advocacy group comprised of healthcare professionals like San Francisco registered nurses and San Jose RNs, announced it had filed a complaint with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. A corresponding letter charged Sutter Health and its affiliate CPMC hospital “with employment discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, and national origin.”

Along with calling for an SF Human Rights Commission investigation into CPMC, the professional organization, which represents Sacramento RNs and other registered nurses, filed a class action grievance against the hospital and Sutter Health for contract violations related to discriminatory hiring practices. The California Nurses association also asked Sutter Health to demand CPMC “cease and desist” employment discrimination.

According to last Thursdays announcement, the CNA was joined by more than two dozen leaders of Filipino organizations and community groups in calling for a meeting with the hospital’s CEO Warren Browner and the Sutter Bay West Bay Vice President of Nursing Diana Karner. The groups are also demanding CPMC “publicly renounce its discriminatory practices, and commit to equal opportunity regardless of race or national origin.”

In a press conference last Thursday, CNA revealed testimony from former CPMC nursing professionals, including supervisors with first-hand experience of the discrimination against Filipino nurses. In onestate from the hospital’s former Critical Care Services director, the VP nursing director Karner reportedly advised him “not to hire any Filipinos.”

As further evidence, CNA provided a list of current employees at the CPMC-operated St. Luke’s hospital. The documents show that before February 2008, about 65 percent of the hospital’s registered nurses were Filipino; however, after February 2008, Filipino nurses comprised only 10 percent of the facility’s RN staff.

In the CNA press release, the supporting groups Filipino Community Center and the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns expressed their concerns against Sutter Health and CPMC through spokesperson Terry Valen.

“Our community needs access to healthcare and good jobs.  Sutter/CPMC’s discrimination against Filipino nurses is another blatant example of the abuse that Filipino migrant workers face in the United States,” Valen said.

For additional information on the California Nurses Association, please visit:


To learn more about the California Pacific Medical Center and Sutter Health, please go to:


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Unlicensed Los Angeles Nursing School Ordered Closed and Required to Pay $500,000 in Restitution

An unlicensed nursing school operating out of downtown Los Angeles was closed and ordered to pay $500,000 in restitution to the hundreds of victims who enrolled in the fraudulent operation, reported California Attorney General Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Jr. in a press release issued on Aug. 11.

According to the Attorney General’s report, the RN Learning Center collected $20,000 tuition fees from nearly 300 students for a falsely-advertised “fast-track program for earning a bachelor of science degree in nursing.” Participating students were mislead to believe they could earn their degrees in less than two years.

Attorney General Brown described the school’s criminal actions and the subsequent decision by the state to close the fraudulent institution immediately.

“By creating the illusion it was training future registered nurses,” Brown said, “the school destroyed the aspirations of hundreds of students who also lost thousands of dollars in wasted tuition. The school will shut its doors today and pay back its former students as fully as it can.”

The unlicensed operation was owned and operated by Junelou Chalico Enterina. Under the terms of the settlement negotiated by the Office of the Attorney General on behalf of the state’s Board of Registered Nursing, Enterina was forced to close the RN Learning Center and pay defrauded students restitution totaling $500,000. He is also prevented from operating any future nursing schools in the state.

The actions against the RN Learning Center’s illegal operation began as an investigation by the California Board of Registered Nursing in 2007. The center never applied with the agency to receive its state-mandated education credentials. As a result, the school was ordered closed three years ago by the state’s nursing board.

Despite the investigation and orders from the state board, the RL Learning Center remained in business and continued to target students, particularly Filipino-Americans already working in the healthcare industry. Students took courses in nursing-relevant areas of study like microbiology and anatomy. They even participated in a month of clinical study at hospitals and prisons in the Philippines.

Since the RN Learning Center is unlicensed, its students are not qualified to take the National Council Licensing Examination required in order to work as licensed registered nurses. In addition, none of the classes they completed will count toward a nursing degree at a legitimate education institution.

Whether you’re interested in pursuing Sacramento RN jobs or working as a Santa Clara RN, receiving a quality education from an accredited institution is critical. Unitek College is a trusted accredited institution with an effective LVN to RN training program. See how our team of skilled and caring educators can help you get the expertise you need for San Francisco RN jobs, today.

For additional information on the RN Learning Center investigation and the Office of the Attorney General, please visit:


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UC Davis Medical Center Under Investigation for Potential Nurse Staffing Shortages

Possible violations of nursing staff levels have triggered the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to investigate the UC Davis Medical Center, reports the Sacramento-based Capital Public Radio broadcasting organization.

In a feature story broadcast August 3, reporter John Sepulvado describes investigations by California state regulators into charges of nurse staffing shortages at the central Sacramento trauma center and comprehensive teaching hospital.

The investigation is reported to be the result of a February complaint filed with regulators by the California Nurses Association (CNA). The organization has a long track record of campaigning for guaranteed healthcare, patient safety, and the rights of California’s registered nurses.

Among the chief concerns expressed in the papers are chronic nurse understaffing at UC Davis Medical Center, and patient problems related to the staff shortage.

According to the Capitol Public Radio report, the California Department of Public Health confirmed that an investigation of UC Davis Medical Center is underway, but offered no further comments. The story also stated that two UC Davis nurses, who are also CNA members, said they were questioned in the last 30 days by the CDPH about understaffing and specific patient cases.

California state law requires different ratios of nurses, including Sacramento LVNs (licensed vocational nurses), to patients. These figures may vary depending on the type of facility and care unit. Operating rooms must have one nurse for each patient, while emergency rooms require one nurse for every four patients.

The CNA documents provided to Capitol Public Radio include several allegations of specific patient problems connected to a shortage of nurses at the UC Davis Medical Center. One complaint details an infant whose stomach required pumping after being overfed. In another instance, a patient in distress was assigned individual monitoring by a nurse. The patient later attempted suicide after being left without the recommended one-on-one nurse monitor.

For years, the California Nurses Association has cited numerous cases of nurse understaffing at hospitals throughout the state. Similar complaints were filed by the organization against the UC Davis Medical Center in 2009 and 2004.

There is an urgent need for qualified nursing professionals, like expert San Francisco LVNs, throughout Northern California. If you’ve thought of pursuing a career as a Santa Clara LVN, or a vocational nurse elsewhere in the Bay Area, see how Unitek College’s skilled training program can get you started in this growing field today!

For additional information on Capitol Public Radio or the California Nurses Association, please visit:


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Alameda County Registered Nurse Awarded $344,000 in Lawsuit Against ValleyCare Medical

Castro Valley registered nurse (RN) Kristeen Klaas was awarded more than $344,000 in damages last week by an Alameda County jury in response to her lawsuit against ValleyCare Medical System.

According to a July 24 story in the San Francisco Chronicle, Klaas, an RN for more than 30 years, claimed her former employer refused to rehire her after she quit her job in May 2008. Klass left the Livermore-Pleasanton-area hospital after 15 years of service.

Prior to her departure, Klaas complained for over two years to ValleyCare management about patient safety and the questionable conduct of fellow hospital staff. In her lawsuit, Klaas claims that facility management refused to respond to her rehiring request in retaliation against her expressing her concerns. The 54-year-old operating nurse now divides her professional time between San Leandro Hospital and the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland.

The San Francisco Chronicle lists several examples of the controversial practices Klaas reported during her time at ValleyCare. One instance involved a surgical technician who brought a rifle that was for sale into the operating room office. Other instances include a nurse who jumped rope with an electrical cord in the hospital operating room and also brought a dog into the operating team break room.

One of the most shocking complaints made by Klaas describes how the tip of a surgical instrument was left inside a patient. The error was discovered after operating room staff failed to find the object following surgery. Klaas said ValleyCare does not have a formal policy requiring staff to account for instruments after surgical procedures.

Like other skilled nursing personnel, such as Santa Clara RNs, Klaas is dedicated to the proper care and health of her patients. Her commitment and sense of professional responsibility led her to report potentially unsafe practices and stand up to retaliatory management actions.

Northern California has a growing need for skilled and dedicated registered nurses like Klaas. Now may be the best time for you to train for San Francisco RN jobs, or career opportunities as a Sacramento RN.

Expand your professional horizons today with Unitek College’s quality LN to RN training program! Our staff of highly-skilled instructors give you the knowledge and expertise you need to transition from Licensed Nursing to an exciting and reward Registered Nursing career. Learn more about our established RN program now!

For more information on the legal proceedings involving Kristeen Klaas and ValleyCare Medical System, please visit:

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California Nurses Join Naval Medical Mission to Haiti and Central America

A group of California-based nurses departed July 21 for a month-long medical mission to Haiti and Central America, announced National Nurses United, the largest nursing union in the United States. The California registered nurses (RN) will join nurse volunteers from Michigan and Washington state as part of the international humanitarian assistance program Continuing Promise 2010.

During their deployment, the nurse volunteers will be stationed aboard the USS Iwo Jima, an amphibious U.S. Naval ship. From July to November, the Continuing Promise volunteers will provide nursing care in temporary clinics located on the coasts of Haiti, Coasta Rica, Colombia, Guatemala, Guyana, Nicaragua, Panama, and Suriname. The nurses will assist patients in these countries on a one-month rotational basis.

The first team of professionals to participate in the mission is comprised of Nurse Practitioners (NP) and Registered Nurses (RNs) who have disaster relief experience and backgrounds in women’s health. Like other kinds of nursing professionals, including Santa Clara LVNs, RNs and Nurse Practitioners undergo specialized training that provides them with the knowledge and skills they need to care for their patients safely and effectively.

San Francisco Bay Area women’s health nurse practitioner Jane Ernstthal is one of the healthcare professionals participating in the Central American-bound mission. She has extensive clinical nursing experience in regions as diverse as Chile, Ecuador, Haiti, Mexico, Malawi and Kenya. During her previous nursing missions, Ernstthal provided family planning education and training for personnel at local clinics.

Joining Ernstthal and the other volunteers is San Diego-area Registered Nurse Amanda Howard. After Haiti’s devastating earthquake in January, Howard spent six weeks in the island nation. As part of her volunteer nursing work, the RN helped establish pre- and post-natal care at an existing Haitian clinic.

Erstthal and Howard are part of National Nurses United’s volunteer Registered Nurse Response Network. The group provides widespread care through a series of continuous assignments, including a mission earlier this year to treat those critically injured in the Haiti earthquake.

Since 2005, Continuing Promise has brought together civilians, Sailors and Marines with a desire to provide humanitarian aid to citizens of South and Central American countries, particularly during critical situations resulting from natural disasters.

The need for skilled nursing professionals both abroad and close to home continues to grow. If you’ve been thinking of exploring LVN jobs in San Francisco, Fremont or elsewhere the Bay Area, see how Unitek College can get you started on an exciting nursing career. From LVN jobs in Sacramento, to nursing roles in San Jose, Unitek College has the quality training program to help you jumpstart your career in this growing healthcare field.

For additional information on National Nurses United, please visit:

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Greater Sacramento Licensed Vocational Nurse to Receive a Prestigious Nursing Award in Washington D.C.

Brenda Calvin Wright, a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) clinical manager for the Chapa-De Indian Health Program in Auburn, California, will receive a distinguished national award for excellence in nursing on July 21 in Washington D.C., reported the Colusa County Sun Herald.

Wright will be awarded on Wednesday during the 2010 Nurse Leaders in Native Care Conference. The annual event includes a series of educational workshops and presentations on the people and issues that impact American Indian and Alaskan Native nurses. It is sponsored by the Indian Health Service (IHS), the Indian Health Service National Nurse Leadership Council, and the Arizona Nurses Association.

As a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Wright was nominated to the National Nurse Leadership Council by her supervisor for her compassionate approach to nursing, and the positive impact she has on her patients’ lives. In her nomination, Wright is said to improve the attitudes of numerous patients by taking the time to communicate sensitive medical practices and emphasizing the benefits of daily self-care.

According to the Colusa County Sun Herald, Wright began working at the Chapa-De Indian Health Program as a receptionist five years ago. After a year at the Auburn-based healthcare program, the native of Colusa County, northwest of Sacramento, transitioned to a rewarding new role as an LVN. This professional change followed the death of her husband Larry in a truck accident.

Wright, a grandmother of two, is the only California Indian Health Care nurse to receive this year’s prestigious award from the IHS National Nurse Leadership Council.

The Chapa-De Indian Health Programs serve more than 4,000 patients in the Greater Sacramento communities of Auburn, Grass Valley and Woodland. While many of the programs’ patients are Native American, Wright is recognized for sharing her compassionate and professional nursing skills with all of Chapa-De’s clients. As she told the Colusa County Sun, “All our patients are like family to me. Not just Native Americans, but those from all communities.”

Like other nursing personnel, such as San Francisco LVNs, Wright is part of a vital and growing field in the healthcare profession. Licensed vocational nurses play an important role in the and daily care of patients in clinics, hospitals and other settings. They also provide key information on preventative care and treatment to families and caregivers.

If you’ve thought of exploring LVN Jobs in Sacramento or considered working as a Santa Clara LVN, Unitek College has a quality training program that can get you started on a rewarding career in the expanding nursing industry. Discover more about Unitek College’s LVN convenient training program today!

To learn more about Brenda Calvin Wright, please visit:

And to learn more about the federal Indian Health Service program, please visit: