New Computer System Delays Licensing of Calif. Nursing Graduates
A new California Department of Consumer Affairs-managed computer system designed to process online applications for nursing licenses is not working at full capacity and has caused delays in applicants receiving their certifications, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Background on System
The online portal for licensing and enforcement, called BreEZe, was designed to improve efficiency for licensing boards and bureaus, according to the Times.
The state Board of Registered Nursing and nine additional agencies have been using the system since October 2013.
Details of Problems
According to the Times, BreEZe cannot yet accept online applications for nursing licenses. Instead, employees must manually enter applicant data from paper forms to determine if an applicant is eligible for the licensing exam.
Russ Heimerich, a Department of Consumer Affairs spokesperson, said that as of Tuesday about 4,000 applications for nursing licenses were pending in the system. He also noted that the backlog has significantly increased since December 2013.
Heimerich said BreEZe is "not doing everything it was designed to do yet" and "is causing additional steps and additional workload" to application processing.
The Board of Registered Nursing said it could take up to 90 days to process applications and to determine applicants' eligibility.
Heimerich said the agency will add 15 staff members. Currently, 18 staff members are manually processing applications to help eliminate the backlog.
In addition, Heimerich noted that the nursing board is crafting a letter to applicants to inform them that the delay is not a reflection of their application.
However, the Times reports that no date has been set for a fix.
Last week, Assembly member Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto) called for an audit of BreEZe. The request will be considered at a March 4 meeting of the state's Joint Legislative Audit Committee (Brown, Los Angeles Times, 2/12).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.