Nursing faculty bill moves ahead to committee

Colllege of the Canyons Chancellor Dianne Van Hook raises her arms in celebration as Assemblywoman Christy Smith joins her at the swearing-in ceremony. Van Hook was appointed to a state oversight committee.

Assembly Bill 1051, which promotes the recruitment and retention of nursing faculty, passed the Higher Education Committee on Tuesday.

Authored by Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, AB 1051 seeks to allow community colleges to employ temporary faculty members, who are serving as full-time clinical nursing faculty, for up to four semesters or six quarters.

“Existing law prohibits part-time, temporary faculty from teaching more than 67 percent of a full-time teaching assignment,” the bill’s analysis states, adding, this often leads to a high turnover rate for instructors and loss of continuity in the classroom.

“With our growing baby boomer population and the rise in chronic diseases, California is poised to experience a dramatic growth in demand for nurses — at the same time, our community college nursing programs are impacted across the state,” Smith said in a news release Tuesday. “AB 1051 will help us meet the healthcare needs of our state, while connecting Californians to in-demand jobs in an always growing and needed industry.”

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About the author

Brennon Dixson

Brennon Dixson

Brennon Dixson covers education for the Signal. He comes to Santa Clarita from Long Beach, where he was previously employed by the Press Telegram in Long Beach and the Daily Breeze in Torrance.