Sacramento, Ca — A bill authored by Assemblyman Tom Berryhill that would allow Associate Degree Nursing programs in community colleges to admit students based on qualifications, rather than random selection, has passed through the Senate Education Committee.
AB 1559 would allow community colleges the ability to use a broad set of criteria, such as grade point average and relevant work experience, to determine which applicants to admit to nursing programs. Since the mid-1990´s, these programs have been admitting students through a lottery system or on a first-come, first-served basis. Berryhill feels that this system often results in a high drop-out rate.
“Nursing programs need to be expanded, but we also must increase the number of students completing those programs,” says Berryhill. “California already has the lowest number of nurses per capita in the nation. With a growing and aging population, the shortage will only get worse unless we act now.”
AB 1559 now heads to the Senate floor for a vote. Berryhill says he is cautiously optimistic it will pass.
Written by BJ Hansen