Legislator Proposes Bill to Expand Nurse Training Programs
To alleviate the "growing" nursing shortage in California, state Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento) yesterday introduced a bill (SB 317) that would expand nurse training programs operated by the California State University and California Community Colleges systems, the Sacramento Bee reports. In addition to increasing training opportunities, the bill would establish scholarships and loan forgiveness programs for nurses who choose to work in "underserved" areas. Hoping to double the number of nursing students in four years, Ortiz said the bill appropriates funding to train an additional 4,000 nurses each year. According to the California Healthcare Association, about 5,000 students graduate from California nursing programs each year. Under the legislation, training programs would receive $30 million in the first year and "additional funds thereafter." The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development would run the program. Ortiz said, "We're in the midst of a serious health crisis, and we need to ensure that we get more RNs to the health care work force immediately" (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 2/28).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.