Bakersfield Californian Editorial Urges State to Expand Nursing Programs at Universities
California must "greatly" expand four-year and six-year nursing programs at colleges and universities -- an issue that two nursing measures announced last month by Gov. Gray Davis (D) do not address -- to alleviate the state's "acute" nurse shortage, according to a Bakersfield Californian editorial. Davis has announced minimum nurse-to-patient hospital staffing ratios to help improve workplace conditions for nurses, but the editorial warns that the plan may "exacerbate problems facing hospitals" that rely on the "flexibility to assign nurses to wards as patient needs change." Davis also has proposed to spend $60 million over three years to train and recruit nurses, a plan that the editorial warns may "simply drive up labor costs," rather than address the nursing shortage, "if the supply of nurses isn't increased." The editorial concludes, "Clearly what is needed most for the long term is a permanent, massive investment by the state in expansion" of the California State University and University of California nursing programs, "which it appears the Davis proposal does not do" (Bakersfield Californian, 2/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.