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CALIFORNIA A.B. 548 - Nursing Credentialing Issues


Sponsor: Assemblymember Mary Salas (D)

Summary: Current version (1/7/2014): Removes the repeal date for community college registered nursing programs that use a multicriteria screening process to evaluate applicants for admission to nursing programs.

Current version (1/7/2014):

Introduced version:

Status: Introduced 2/20/2013. Referred to Committee on Higher Education 1/6/2014. Amended by author; referred to Committee on Higher Education 1/7/2014. Hearing scheduled 1/14/2014.

Outlook: This measure was amended into your issue scope January 7. This measure was introduced as a "spot bill". A "spot bill" is a measure that makes an inconsequential change to a statute and then is later amended.

The Committee on Higher Education hearing will be open to the public. Public testimony will be accepted. Written testimony should be submitted in advance of the scheduled hearing. A vote may be taken at the discretion of the committee chair.

Existing law requires a community college registered nursing program that elects to use a multicriteria screening process on or after January 1, 2008, to evaluate applicants for admission to nursing programs to include specified criteria relating to the academic performance, work or volunteer experience, foreign language skills, life experiences and special circumstances of the applicant.

This measure seeks indefinitely continue the operation of this process. The need for this measure arose from A.B. 1559 of 2007. A.B. 1559 sought to remedy the nursing shortage in California. At the time, California had the lowest nurse-to-patient ratio in the nation; the Board of Registered Nursing projected a shortage of 100,000 nurses by 2030. Supporters of A.B. 1559, stated that California had a serious crisis in the pipeline that produces nurses, citing that there were thousands of qualified applicants being turned away from training programs each year. Proponents argued that slots have increased from 6,600 to over 10,000 in five years, but in the same time period, qualified applicants have increased from 10,000 to over 28,000. The American Nurses Association/California; Board of Registered Nursing; and the California Hospital Association supported A.B. 1559.

The California Federation of Teachers; California Labor Federation; California Nurses Association; the Department of Finance; Latino Issues Forum; and the Service Employees International Union opposed A.B.1559.

The sponsor is a member of the majority party and does not sit on the committee of referral. Democrats control both chambers of the Legislature as well as the office of the Governor.

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