Law Standardizing Nursing Program Curriculum Draws Criticism
A bill (AB 2314) recently signed into law that requires standardization of requirements for nursing programs at California State University campuses and community colleges by September 2005 is drawing criticism from some in the academic community, the Sacramento Bee reports (Hardy, Sacramento Bee, 10/15). The law, sponsored by Assembly member Helen Thomson (D-Davis), aims to expedite education of nursing students at community colleges and state universities, establish a more efficient and accessible education process and allow nursing students to complete their education more quickly (California Healthline, 9/30). The law allows students to transfer between community colleges and CSU programs without retaking courses or losing credit for some course work, the Sacramento Bee reports. In addition to standardizing the nursing curriculum, the law requires the CSU chancellor to "negotiate transfer agreements with community colleges." The law also asks the Community Colleges chancellor to encourage similar transfer agreements among community college nursing programs, but because such programs are "so decentralized," it is not a requirement, the Bee reports. Kate Clark, vice president of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, said, "We don't see how the bill, in its present form, achieves the end of directly increasing the number of nurses." Clark added that new prerequisites in the law could keep some prospective students out, which goes against the community colleges' mission of open access, the Bee reports. Joanne Spetz, associate director of the Center for California Health Workforce Studies, acknowledged that implementing the law will be difficult, but said, "[I]t needs to happen, it should happen, and the governor felt that without some sort of deadline and structure, the colleges would never get around to it" (Sacramento Bee, 10/15).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.