New Collaboration Increases Access to Nursing Education for Mendocino and Lake County Residents

PUC Nurse

New Collaboration Increases Access to Nursing Education for Mendocino and Lake County Residents

August 1, 2023

FORT BRAGG, CA — Mendocino and Lake County residents now have a unique opportunity to pursue a world-class nursing education, thanks to a new collaboration between Pacific Union College (PUC), Adventist Health Mendocino Coast, and the Mendocino Coast Healthcare Foundation (MCHFoundation).

PUC has reserved 18 seats in their incoming RN class specifically for local applicants, with no lottery system. Qualified employees from Adventist Health Mendocino Coast will be considered first for the openings, with any remaining slots opened to interested candidates from the Mendocino and Lake County regions. The board approved, hybrid nursing program is ideal for working adults looking to advance their career without sacrificing their current job or income.

Through its innovative RN Student Support Fund, MCHFoundation aims to offer generous financial assistance to each of the 18 accepted students to help offset the cost of travel, books, childcare, and other education-related expenses. To date, the fund has helped six nursing students afford to complete their degree—four of whom remained on the coast to begin their career after graduation.

“There is a critical need for these funds, especially for students from Mendocino and Lake County,” says Mary Kate McKenna, CFRE, Executive Director of MCHFoundation. “Tuition for nursing school is extremely costly, and when you factor in expenses like gas for the drive to campus and childcare during class time, it can be enough to make talented, qualified students reconsider.”

The cost to support the cohort of 18 students throughout the entirety of their program, which begins this September, is $650,000—or $50,000 per semester. MCHFoundation is seeking philanthropic partners to invest in this important collaboration and innovative solution to the nursing shortage on the Mendocino Coast. The goal is to secure the funding by August, so that students can receive the exciting news about their scholarship in acceptance letters.

The RN Student Support Fund is one component of MCHFoundation’s broader All In For Nurses initiative—which increases access to education, eliminates financial barriers, and recognizes the hard work and dedication of our local healthcare heroes.

“This collaboration is the first of its kind in the country, and an opportunity for our neighbors to step up for the men and women who are keeping our beloved coastal communities healthy and thriving,” says Mary Kate. “Years ago, when Mendocino College needed funding to complete its Physiology Lab—the space that would support a mandatory nursing pre-requisite course—our MCHFoundation donors helped to close the gap and make it happen. I am hopeful that together, we can do it again today for these 18 deserving future nurses.”

To make a gift to the RN Student Support Fund, or to learn more about how MCHFoundation is All In For Nurses, please reach out to Mary Tinder, Community Engagement Manager, at [email protected] or 707-961-4924.

About Mendocino Coast Healthcare Foundation

Mendocino Coast Healthcare Foundation (MCHFoundation), located in Fort Bragg, is a non-profit with a mission to support the health and wellness of the Mendocino Coast communities. MCHFoundation provides a path for community investment in the health and wellness of our coastal region.

If you are interested in learning more or would like to support our work by contributing or becoming a volunteer, please visit or contact our team at [email protected] or 707-961-4688.

Please note MCHFoundation’s new address: 130 N. Main Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437