California Encourages Higher Education for Healthcare

Healthcare is a growing field requiring more doctors, nurses, dentists, etc. With these professions, higher education is becoming more important and even required in some hospitals. According to a researcher at the Public Policy Institute of California, over 40% of all jobs will require a bachelor’s degree which is about 7% higher than the current rate. Hospitals may also require bachelor’s degrees from 80% of their nurses to address to the new responsibilities for employees in this field.

Covered California has changed the responsibilities of people in the healthcare industry, especially in the field of nursing. Current nurses with two year degrees from community college are still qualified but there are more skills that cannot be taught in just four semesters. More nurses need to be educated. Hospitals need nurses who understand the complexity of caring for patients and are skilled in different patient needs.

There is a new bill that has been sent to Governor Jerry Brown to address this gap in education. The bill would allow up to 15 community colleges to offer a bachelors degree program for nursing. However, the nursing program at these colleges would not be able to be offered immediately since it is a degree that’s currently offered at the University of California and state college campuses. Still, this new bill (if approved) would enable many nurses to receive a bachelor’s degree in nursing without going out of state or finding programs through the California state education system.

If approved, this bill could lead to community colleges offering bachelors degrees in the following fields:

  • Dentistry (dental hygiene)
  • Radiology Technology
  • Nursing
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