California Lawmakers OK Changes to Nursing School Admissions
The Senate on Friday approved legislation (AB 1559) to allow community colleges to admit nursing school applicants based exclusively on merit, the Fresno Bee reports.
The merit-based criteria could include grade-point average, relevant work experience, foreign language skills and life experiences, according to the Bee.
The bill, by Sen. Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto) originally intended to require community colleges to eliminate nursing school admissions policies that are based on a lottery system. However, the mandate was removed after opponents, including unions, argued that it violates the mission of community colleges: to accept applicants regardless of background.
The bill is intended to lower dropout rates among nursing students by admitting more qualified applicants.
The Assembly would have to approve the legislation before it could go to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) for consideration (Schultz, Fresno Bee, 9/8).
The Assembly on Friday approved amendments to a bill (SB 801) to put a measure on the June 2008 ballot that would overhaul the Board of Chiropractic Examiners, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The legislation, by Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles), would require the board "to comply with open meeting laws and other provisions that apply to similar health-related boards in the state."
The bill also would:
- Place the board under the Department of Consumer Affairs;
- Restore the board's budget, which had been cut in half;
- Reduce the size of the board from nine members to seven;
- Require Senate approval of board appointees.
Under the measure, the Consumer Affairs Department would not have the authority to disapprove rules or regulations governing chiropractors' scope of practice or educational requirements, according to the Bee.
Ridley-Thomas said the reforms are necessary because for "too long, the board has not been fulfilling its fundamental mission of protecting the public."
A bill (AB 1429) by Assembly member Noreen Evans (D-Sonoma) to require insurers to cover vaccinations against the human papillomavirus, a cause of cervical cancer, is "a common-sense approach to possibly preventing a life-threatening disease and a surefire way to reduce the billions spent each year in the U.S. on the treatment of HPV-caused cancers," a Ventura County Star editorial states. The editorial calls on the governor to sign the measure (Ventura County Star, 9/8).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.