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California Looks to Nursing Schools in Mexico To Help Boost Supply of Nurses

In a California Healthline Special Report, Paul Feist, a spokesperson for the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency; Linda Ngay, a policy associate at the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California; and Debra Berger, president of the California Nurses Association, discussed a proposed state program that would train California nursing students in Mexico (Kennedy, California Healthline, 10/1).

The proposal under consideration by the agency would send 40 California nursing students to one of two Mexican nursing schools for two years, after which they would qualify for the registered nursing license exam in California. Participants in the program would receive the equivalent of an associate’s degree (California Healthline, 9/24).

The program aims to help offset the lack of nursing school spots in California and increase the pipeline of nurses to alleviate the nursing shortage.

Ngay said the program could also help address access issues among Latinos, who make up a third of the state population but represent only 6% of nurses.

Berger said CNA would rather see the state fully fund California nursing schools and increase nursing school seats.

Feist said that the program is designed as a “niche solution” and that the state is working to build capacity at nursing schools (California Healthline, 10/1).

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