Exercising the authority under Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order N-39-20, the director of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) waived restrictions on nursing student clinical hours. This waiver will allow approximately 9,000 nursing students to complete their clinical training programs, some of which have been discontinued by nursing programs and health care facilities.
“We are sympathetic to the predicament nursing students are in during this time of uncertainty,” said DCA Director Kimberly Kirchmeyer. “It was necessary to waive these requirements to meet the ongoing needs of California’s health care system and allow nursing students to graduate on time.”
Specifically, the waiver will automatically reduce the requirement that clinical hours be in direct patient care from 75% down to 50% for nursing students in obstetrics, pediatrics, and mental health/psychiatric courses. For nursing students in geriatrics and medical-surgical courses, the waiver allows up to 50% of patient care through simulation or lab training provided that certain conditions are met. One condition is that the school demonstrates that its students were truly displaced. Another condition is that the school must demonstrate that it cannot find an alternative site for students to complete the hours in direct patient care.
DCA encourages health care facilities to work with nursing programs to find placements for these nursing students to assist with the COVID-19 crisis.
The Department of Consumer Affairs is working hand in hand with its healing arts licensing boards to determine which licensing requirement waivers would allow individuals to continue assisting with the COVID-19 pandemic.
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