United Nurses Commend Assembly Speaker Perez on Nurse Education Bill New Pilot Program Will Increase California’s Health Care Workforce Capacity

August 2010

San Dimas, CA – Barbara Blake, RN, State Secretary for the United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP) commended California Assembly Speaker John A Pérez (D-Los Angeles) on the successful passage of AB 2385 in the State Senate and Assembly, titled "Pilot Program for Innovative Nursing and Allied Health Care Profession Education at the California Community Colleges." If the bill is signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger, it will increase the capacity of California’s community colleges to provide accessible courses for students training to be nurses and health professionals.

"We are pleased that AB 2385 has moved successfully through the legislative process," commented Blake. "UNAC/UHCP was proud to collaborate with the Speaker’s office in the development of this bill and we believe it will remove barriers that students have encountered in trying to get into nursing or allied health education programs. We urge Governor Schwarzenegger to sign this bill into law."

AB 2385 would facilitate the education of community college nursing and allied health students. The bill would establish a pilot program at up to five campuses throughout the state that would allow students to take weekend, evening, or summer courses while completing a nursing or health professional program.

"The need for a qualified health care workforce, particularly when you consider the ongoing nursing shortage, is undeniable," stated Blake. "We believe AB 2385 is a great starting point to increase the capacity of community colleges to properly and more quickly prepare additional students who wish to enter the health care field."