California Temporarily Waives Additional Requirements for Pre-Licensure Nursing Programs and Students

Arent Fox
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Arent Fox

On May 4, the California Department of Consumer Affairs issued another order waiving additional requirements for pre-licensure nursing programs and nursing students under Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations (Code).

We previously analyzed the temporary professional licensing waivers the DCA issued to make it easier for the healthcare industry to operate in the wake of COVID-19. On May 4, in its latest action under the authority of California Governor Newsom’s March 30 Executive Order, DCA issued another order waiving additional requirements for pre-licensure nursing programs and nursing students under Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations (Code).

Waiver of Additional Requirements for Pre-Licensure Nursing Programs and Students

The Order Waiving Nursing Preceptorship Requirements and Restrictions on Nursing Student Clinical Training waives the following:

  • Section 1426.1, subdivisions (b)(1)-(3) and (b)(5)-(7), which require pre-licensure nursing programs to establish policies imposing specific conditions on preceptorships, including regarding preceptor qualifications and the respective responsibilities among preceptors, faculty, and nursing students; and
  • Section 1427, subdivision (a), which requires programs to submit evidence of compliance with subdivisions (b), (c), and (d) and policies outlined by the Board of Registered Nursing (Board).

Significantly, Section 1426.1, subdivision (b)(4), requiring a communication plan for preceptors, faculty, and students, is not waived. Accordingly, preceptors must still be present and available at all times that nursing students provide patient care services, and faculty must be available to preceptors and students whenever students engage in preceptorship learning activities. Prior preceptorship course approval by the Board, pursuant to subdivision (a), as well as the faculty/student ratio criteria under subdivision (c), also remain unchanged.

Previous Waiver Still in Effect

The May 4th waiver is in addition to DCA’s April 3rd Order Waiving Restrictions on Nursing Clinical Hours, which temporarily waived various clinical setting and course requirements under the Code, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Section 1427(a), to the extent it requires Board approval of clinical settings, subject to approval by a Nurse Education Consultant of the Board; and
  • Section 1427(c), which requires pre-licensure nursing programs to have written agreements with clinical facilities.

Pre-licensure nursing programs and nursing students should carefully review these waivers to understand the temporary adjustments, which were designed to provide flexibility and enable nursing students to continue their training during the State of Emergency. Both waivers are effective for 60 days from April 3rd and May 4th, respectively, unless extended further.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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