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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