(a) The Legislature finds and declares both of the following:
(1) The Legislature intends to facilitate both the expansion of associate degree nursing programs and the improvement in completion rates in those programs.
(2) The Legislature also intends that community colleges employ nationally recognized diagnostic assessment tools that are aligned with national nursing licensure requirements. Both students and the state benefit when diagnostic assessments are supplemented with educational opportunities to assist students in meeting skill levels.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to create a Nursing Enrollment Growth and Retention program in the Chancellor’s Office of the California Community Colleges. The purpose of this program shall be to provide grants to community college associate degree of nursing programs that meet either of the following conditions:
(1) The nursing program has low or moderate program attrition levels.
(2) The nursing program provides a comprehensive program of diagnostic assessment, prenursing preparation, and program-based support to students.
(c) (1)It is the intent of the Legislature that this program shall be funded, beginning in the 2006–07 fiscal year, by a redirection of the ten million dollars ($10,000,000) provided annually pursuant to the Budget Act of 2005, along with an additional investment of two million eight hundred eighty-six thousand dollars ($2,886,000) annually, for a total program budget of twelve million eight hundred eighty-six thousand dollars ($12,886,000) annually. Unencumbered funds that were appropriated in the Budget Act of 2005 may be used for capacity building and equipment in the 2006–07 fiscal year.
(2) Up to 3 percent of the funds appropriated for this program may be used for statewide administration, program development, program evaluation, and program accountability. As used in this paragraph, “program development” includes, but is not necessarily limited to, activities related to partnerships or collaborations between community colleges and institutions of higher education offering baccalaureate degrees in order to increase the number of students completing bachelor of the science of nursing (BSN), master of the science of nursing (MSN), and master’s entry programs in nursing (MEPN) courses of study.
(d) The Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges may award grants to community college districts with associate degree nursing programs to expand enrollment, reduce program attrition, or both. Funds shall be used only for the following purposes: expanding enrollment, providing diagnostic assessments, and offering preentry coursework to prospective nursing students and diagnostic assessments and supportive services to enrolled nursing students. For purposes of this section, supportive services include, but are not necessarily limited to, tutoring, case management, mentoring, and counseling services. Funds may also be used to develop alternative delivery models such as part-time, evening, weekend, and summer program offerings. In order to qualify for these funds, a community college associate degree nursing program shall do either of the following:
(1) Have a program attrition rate, as determined by the Board of Registered Nursing’s Annual School Report or the Information Program Data System of the Chancellor’s Office of the California Community Colleges, of 15 percent or less for the year prior to application for funding.
(2) Commit to implement a comprehensive program of diagnostic assessment, prenursing enrollment preparation, and program-based support to enrolled students, as defined in this article.
(e) Notwithstanding Section 78213 or any other provision of law, prior to awarding any funds to be used for reducing program attrition, the chancellor’s office shall do all of the following:
(1) Identify, in collaboration with community college associate degree nursing programs, nationally recognized diagnostic assessment tools that determine the likelihood of academic success in community college registered nursing education programs.
(2) Establish, in collaboration with community college associate degree nursing programs, the systemwide proficiency level necessary for academic success for each diagnostic assessment tool.
(3) Define the kinds of educational and support services that qualify for funding under this program.
(f) As a condition of receiving grants under paragraph (2) of subdivision (d), a community college district shall, at a minimum, do all of the following:
(1) Utilize diagnostic assessment tools prior to enrollment to determine readiness for community college associate degree nursing programs.
(2) Offer, or identify, educational preentry coursework, including, but not necessarily limited to, tutorials, instructional resources, or noncredit instruction, aligned to the entry level nursing standards and curriculum for students who fail to demonstrate readiness based upon the diagnostic assessment tools.
(3) Provide access to prenursing coursework for all students who do not demonstrate readiness based upon the diagnostic assessment tools.
(4) Require that students demonstrate readiness through the diagnostic assessment or successful completion of the prenursing coursework specified above prior to commencing the registered nursing program.
(5) Ensure that students that participate in educational preentry coursework in order to demonstrate readiness based upon the diagnostic assessment tools are not disadvantaged in the program enrollment process.
(g) As a condition of receiving grant funds pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (d), each recipient district shall report to the chancellor’s office the following data for the academic year on or before a date determined by the chancellor’s office:
(1) The number of students enrolled in the nursing program.
(2) The number of students taking diagnostic assessments.
(3) The number of students failing to meet proficiency levels as determined by diagnostic assessment tools.
(4) The number of students failing to meet proficiency levels that undertake preentry preparation classes.
(5) The number of students who successfully complete preentry preparation coursework.
(6) The average number of months between initial diagnostic assessment, demonstration of readiness, and enrollment in the nursing program for students failing to meet proficiency standards on the initial diagnostic assessment.
(7) The average number of months between diagnostic assessment and program enrollment for students meeting proficiency standards on the initial diagnostic assessment.
(8) The number of students who completed the associate degree nursing program and the number of students who pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
(h) (1)Data reported to the chancellor under this article shall be disaggregated by age, gender, ethnicity, and language spoken at home.
(2) The chancellor’s office shall compile and provide this information to the Legislature and the Governor by March 1 of each year.
(i) It is the intent of the Legislature that, pursuant to funding to be provided in the annual Budget Act, in the 2009–10 academic year, the California Community Colleges should increase the statewide enrollment of full-time equivalent registered nursing students by 450 and, beginning in the 2010–11 academic year and continuing each academic year thereafter, add 900 new full-time equivalent registered nursing students.