Overhaul of Nursing School Admissions Draws Opposition
The California Federation of Teachers and the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges are lining up against a bill that would require some community colleges to overhaul their admissions practices, the Sacramento Bee reports (Schultz, Sacramento Bee, 6/4).
Forty-two community colleges currently admit applicants based on a lottery system or a first-come, first-served basis (California Healthline, 5/23).
AB 1559 by Assembly member Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto) would require 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.
Berryhill says details of such a system will be added to his legislation as it makes its way through the Senate. The Assembly in May approved the measure.
Berryhill said that he is considering admission protocols that would favor applicants with some medical experience, or a grade requirement for prerequisite classes.
Some California teachers and community colleges are concerned that a merit-based system would conflict with the community college mission of accepting all applicants, regardless of certain qualifications.
A report released last week by the Legislative Analyst's Office recommended adoption of a merit-based selection system.
The report found that only half of the estimated 6,000 students who enrolled in a community college associate degree nursing program in 2002-2003 graduated within two years (Sacramento Bee, 6/4).
In other nursing news, NPR's "All Things Considered" on Sunday reported on the shortage of educators at nursing schools. The segment includes comments from:
- Mary Jane Williams, a professor of nursing at the University of Hartford;
- Jean Cabral, a nursing instructor at Brigham and Women's Hospital;
- Judy Shindul-Rothschild, a professor at the Boston College School of Nursing; and
- Peter Buerhaus, a professor of nursing at Vanderbilt University (Gotbaum, "All Things Considered," NPR, 6/3).
Audio of the segment and expanded NPR coverage are available online.
"All Things Considered" on Sunday also included a discussion with Williams about the shortage of educators (Eliot, "All Things Considered," NPR, 6/3).
Audio of the segment is available online. 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.