Press Release

Nurses applaud California Senate vote to improve nursing education transparency, equity

Nurses in front of California state capitol building holding banners and signs: "Insist on an RN"

S.B. 1015, sponsored by California Nurses Association and authored by Sen. Cortese, moves to California Assembly

California Nurses Association (CNA), the largest union of registered nurses in the state, applauds the California Senate’s passage of Senate Bill 1015. The bill, authored by Senator Dave Cortese and sponsored by CNA, would ensure clinical placement opportunities for California’s future nurses, particularly for students attending community colleges, state universities, and other public institutions.

“Clinical education is an essential part of any nurse’s education, yet aspiring nurses, especially students in public programs, are being denied access to clinical placements,” said Cathy Kennedy, RN and CNA President. “We applaud the California Senate for passing S.B. 1015. It is commonsense reform that will increase transparency and increase oversight from the Board of Registered Nursing.”

California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) data shows that, in 2021 and 2022, nursing students at a staggering 92 of California’s 152 nursing programs – many publicly-funded – had been denied access to clinical placements. Nursing schools reported to the BRN that the inability to secure clinical placements was the number two reason for not enrolling more students.

Kennedy added, “Amidst a nationwide staffing crisis, ensuring every nurse can receive a clinical education – no matter their background or the school they were able to afford – is essential. Our state’s nursing workforce needs to reflect California’s incredible diversity”

S.B. 1015 would mandate new levels of transparency for clinical placements and begin developing placement standards to ensure equitable access. It would empower the BRN to collect and analyze how BRN-approved programs handle these placements, information that would be presented to the state legislature annually. Additionally, it calls on the BRN’s Nursing Education and Workforce Advisory Committee to recommend standards that will ensure fair and equitable access to clinical placements.

California Nurses Association/National Nurses United is the largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses in the nation with 100,000 members in more than 200 facilities throughout California and nearly 225,000 RNs nationwide.