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Assemblywoman Soria Introduces AB 2104 To Address California’s Nursing Shortage

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, CA— Today, Assemblywoman Esmeralda Soria introduced AB 2104 to establish a pilot program that would allow community colleges to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. 

One of the most significant consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in California has been an unprecedented nursing shortage. 

California is ranked no. 1 in the US for projected registered nurse shortages. The state is projected to be short 44,500 registered nurses by 2030.*

The nursing shortage is directly impacting the lives of our most vulnerable residents, especially in the Central Valley. The lack of nurses locally was a contributing factor in the closing of Madera Community Hospital. AB 2104 will provide students the opportunity to receive education and training close to home, encouraging them to practice locally and serve their community.

AB 2104 – Expanding Access To Nursing Careers

In order to meet our nursing workforce needs and extend these career opportunities to Californians throughout the state, we must expand the role of our community college system.

AB 2104 will take the first step in this process by allowing a limited number of campuses to expand their nursing programs to offer Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees.

This will expand the access to and affordability of these degrees and demonstrate how these opportunities can be expanded further to additional community college campuses.

“The shortage of nurses in California is hurting our most vulnerable communities, many in the Central Valley,” said Assemblywoman Soria. “Expanding access to nursing training programs is necessary to tackle this workforce challenge. AB 2104 will grow our nursing workforce in areas of the state most in need and help us better serve our communities.”

Dr. Carole Goldsmith, Chancellor of the State Center Community College District, said in support, "The San Joaquin Valley faces a significant nursing shortage in a population that is medically underserved and has growing healthcare needs. Addressing the nursing crisis head on by providing affordable, quality education locally is a crucial step towards providing our diverse student body with greater access to advanced healthcare training.

I applaud the leadership of Assemblymember Soria for her commitment to addressing this healthcare crisis, introducing legislation authorizing community colleges to offer bachelor’s degree programs for Registered Nurses (RNs).

By enabling our community colleges, which already play a crucial role in training the majority of the state's RNs, this bill will allow us to meet unfilled demand and significantly enhance our capacity to meet local and statewide healthcare needs. We look forward to joining other states who have already adopted this progressive measure."

*Source: Bureau of Health Workforce