Davis Should Sign Nursing Education Bills to Address the Shortage, Fresno Bee Says
Noting that the nursing shortage will "only get worse" if it is not addressed, a Fresno Bee editorial "urge[s]" Gov. Gray Davis (D) to sign two bills aimed at "improving nursing education" in the state. SB 664, sponsored by Sen. Chuck Poochigian (R-Fresno), would authorize a study of the "high attrition rates of nursing students" at the state's community colleges. AB 87, sponsored by Assembly member Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), would appropriate $4 million to increase the number of nursing courses in community colleges and another $1 million for "advanced" education and training. Although the bills will "help solve a portion of the problem," the editorial says that "much more needs to be done." Noting that the average age of a California nurse is 46, the editorial says that "[f]ailing to train the next generation of nurses is a recipe for disaster." While the nursing shortage has "received a lot of discussion," it has not prompted much action "because most of the solutions are costly," the editorial says, adding that the issue will "only get more expensive if the state delays" further. The editorial concludes, "[N]ow is the time for leadership on this issue or the most serious disease facing California's faltering health system won't be diagnosed by a doctor. It will be a lack of nurses, and that can be as debilitating to our health as any disease" (Fresno Bee, 9/30).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.