California bill would enable community colleges to offer BSNs

 Lawmakers in California have introduced a bill to create a pilot program that would allow up to 15 community colleges in the state to offer a Bachelor of Science in nursing — a measure meant to address limited capacity within nursing schools and expand access to affordable programs. 

Senate Bill 895, introduced by Sen. Richard Roth, would authorize the Chancellor of the Community Colleges to select up to 15 community college districts in the state that already offer associate degree in nursing programs to also offer BSNs.

"While the nursing shortage is a national problem, it is particularly acute here in our state — ranking 40th out of 50 states," Mr. Roth said in a Feb. 7 news release. "A key factor contributing to this crisis is that California's nursing school capacity has not been able to keep up with demand. In 2018, more than 85% of hospitals in California reported that the demand for RN's was greater than the available supply — a situation that has not improved." 

Hospitals increasingly prefer and require registered nurses to have a BSN, the senator's office noted when announcing the bill. 

"With the difference between an ADN and and BSN being only 30 additional units of coursework, several ADN programs are well-positioned to expand their offerings," the senator's office said. Leveraging existing ADN programs is also meant to prevent the need for additional supervised clinical placements. 

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