BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 2344
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 6, 2010

                       ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION
                                 Marty Block, Chair
                AB 2344 (Nielsen) - As Introduced:  February 19, 2010
           
          SUBJECT  :   Nursing: approved schools.

           SUMMARY  :  Would redefine "institution of higher education" for  
          the purposes of Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) approval of  
          schools of nursing to include community colleges and private  
          postsecondary institutions offering an associate of arts or an  
          associate of science degree; and would clarify that a nursing  
          school that is not an "institution of higher education" may  
          affiliate with an institution of higher education offering  
          either an associate of arts or an associate of science degree to  
          individuals who graduate from the nursing school.

           EXISTING LAW  :  Provides for the licensure and regulation of  
          registered nurses by BRN and requires BRN to establish a list of  
          approved nursing schools.  Defines an approved school as an  
          institution of higher education or school that is affiliated  
          with an institution of higher education that offers an associate  
          of arts degree to individuals that graduate from the affiliated  
          nursing school.  Provides that an "institution of higher  
          education" includes a community college that offers an  
          associates degree.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  Unknown 

           COMMENTS  :   Purpose of this bill  :  According to the author,  
          current law is ambiguous as to whether a college that offers an  
          associate of science degree can be approved for a nursing  
          program by BRN.  The author argues that this ambiguity led to  
          Cambridge Junior College, a private college accredited by the  
          Accreditation Council for Independent Colleges and Schools,  
          being denied feasibility review for a nursing program by BRN  
          because the college offers an associate of sciences degree but  
          not an associate of arts degree.  The author argues that this  
          bill is intended to clarify that a higher education institution  
          offering an associate of arts and/or an associate of sciences  
          degree, or school affiliated with such an institution that meets  
          with other established requirements, may become approved for  
          nursing schools by BRN.
           








                                                                 AB 2344
                                                                  Page  2

          Background and Legislative Counsel's opinion  :  As noted above,  
          existing law does not define an "institution of higher  
          education" but provides that the term includes community  
          colleges offering associate degrees.  Additionally, existing law  
          requires that a school that is not an "institution of higher  
          education" that seeks to offer a nursing program make an  
          agreement with an institution of higher education to grant an  
          associate of arts degree, or a baccalaureate degree if  
          appropriate, to individuals who graduate from the nursing  
          program.  In "Registered Nursing: Approved Schools - #0924356"  
          Legislative Counsel Bureau opined that a private postsecondary  
          institution offering an associate of sciences degree may qualify  
          as an "institution of higher education" for the purposes of  
          approval of a nursing program by BRN, notwithstanding the fact  
          that the institution does not have an associate of arts degree.   
           

           BRN response  :  While the aforementioned Legislative Counsel  
          opinion indicates that existing law should not preclude an  
          institution offering solely an associates of sciences degree  
          from becoming an approved nursing school, Committee staff  
          conversations with BRN staff indicate that BRN believes  
          clarification to existing law is needed in order to ensure that  
          institutions offering solely associates of science degrees can  
          become approved nursing schools.    

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          None on File

           Opposition 
           
          None on File
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Laura Metune / HIGHER ED. / (916)  
          319-3960