Governor Signs Bill To Reform Nursing School Admissions
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) recently signed a bill that would allow community colleges to accept nursing students based on merit rather than a lottery system or a first-come, first-served basis, the Modesto Bee reports (Hatfield, Modesto Bee, 10/17).
Assembly member Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto) introduced the bill (AB 1559) that requires community colleges with more applications than available slots in their nursing programs to adopt a new selection system that is based at least partly on the merit of the applications.
Forty-two community colleges currently admit applicants based on a lottery system or a first-come, first-served basis (California Healthline, 6/5).
Using a lottery system is intended to increase diversity among nursing students, but some students have argued that the lottery could put patient health at risk because the top students are not admitted.
More than 25% of California nursing students do not graduate, Berryhill said, adding that his bill ensures that the "most qualified and dedicated candidates are given the opportunity to become nurses" (Modesto Bee, 10/17).