Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC

DIVISION 107. STATEWIDE HEALTH PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT [127000 - 130070]

  ( Division 107 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 9. )

PART 3. HEALTH PROFESSIONS DEVELOPMENT [127750 - 128585]

  ( Part 3 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 9. )

CHAPTER 5.  Health Professions Education Foundation Programs [128330 - 128585]

  ( Heading of Chapter 5 amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 149, Sec. 4. )

ARTICLE 4. Vocational Nurse Education Program [128475 - 128501]
  ( Article 4 added by Stats. 2003, Ch. 640, Sec. 20. )

128475.
  

(a)  The Legislature hereby finds and declares that an adequate supply of professional vocational nurses is critical to assuring the health and well-being of the citizens of California, particularly those who live in medically underserved areas, and that changes in the health care system of this state have increased the need for more highly skilled vocational nurses.

(b)  The Legislature further finds and declares that in March 2002, the California Association of Health Facilities indicated that there is a shortage of 3,500 vocational nurses in long-term care facilities and estimates that 28,000 additional vocational nurses will be needed in long-term care over the next 10 years, that recently published reports indicate that vocational nurses now comprise almost 30 percent of the nation’s total number of nurses and that the national vacancy rate in hospitals was about 13 percent, and that according to the California Association of Psychiatric Technicians, an additional 800 psychiatric technicians are needed due to expanding health facilities.

(c)  The Legislature further finds and declares that in vocational nursing, as in other professions, certain populations are underrepresented. The Legislature also finds and declares that it is especially important that vocational nursing care be provided in a way that is sensitive to the sociocultural variables that affect a person’s health. The Legislature recognizes that the financial burden of attending a school of vocational nursing is considerable and that persons from families lacking adequate financial resources may need financial assistance to complete their studies.

(d)  The Legislature further finds and declares that approximately 54.1 percent of all Californians live in rural and urban areas that have been designated underserved. The shortage of vocational nurses in these areas makes it more difficult for those citizens to obtain health care and more difficult to attract and retain other health care professionals to those areas.

(Added by Stats. 2003, Ch. 640, Sec. 20. Effective January 1, 2004. Section operative July 1, 2004, pursuant to Section 128501.)

128480.
  

It is the intent of the Legislature to accomplish the following:

(a)  Assure an adequate supply of appropriately trained vocational nurses.

(b)  Encourage persons from populations that are currently underrepresented in the profession of vocational nursing to enter that profession.

(c)  Encourage vocational nurses to work in medically underserved areas.

(Added by Stats. 2003, Ch. 640, Sec. 20. Effective January 1, 2004. Section operative July 1, 2004, pursuant to Section 128501.)

128485.
  

There is hereby created the Vocational Nurse Education Program within the Health Professions Education Foundation. Persons participating in this program shall be persons who agree in writing prior to completion of vocational nursing school to serve in an eligible county health facility, an eligible state-operated health facility, or a health workforce shortage area, as designated by the director of the office. Persons agreeing to serve in eligible county health facilities, eligible state-operated health facilities, or health workforce shortage areas may apply for scholarship or loan repayment. The Vocational Nurse Education Program shall be administered in accordance with Article 1 (commencing with Section 128330), except that all funds in the Vocational Nurse Education Fund shall be used only for the purpose of promoting the education of vocational nurses and related administrative costs. The Health Professions Education Foundation shall make recommendations to the director of the office concerning both of the following:

(a) A standard contractual agreement to be signed by the director and any student who has received an award to work in an eligible county health facility, an eligible state-operated health facility, or in a health workforce shortage area that would require a period of obligated professional service in the areas of California designated by the Health Workforce Policy Commission as deficient in primary care services. The obligated professional service shall be in direct patient care. The agreement shall include a clause entitling the state to recover the funds awarded plus the maximum allowable interest for failure to begin or complete the service obligation.

(b) Maximum allowable amounts for scholarships, educational loans, and loan repayment programs in order to assure the most effective use of these funds.

(c) A person who qualifies for admission to a vocational nursing program that is accredited by the board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians may apply for funding under the Vocational Nurse Education Program by establishing a contractual agreement in accordance with subdivision (a).

(d) A person who holds a current valid license as a vocational nurse who wishes to seek an associate of science degree in nursing from an accredited college may apply for funding under the Vocational Nurse Education Program by establishing a contractual agreement in accordance with subdivision (a) unless the person is able to qualify under subdivision (a) of Section 128385 under the Registered Nurse Education Program.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 259, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 2007.)

128495.
  

In developing this program, the Health Professions Education Foundation shall solicit the advice of representatives of the Board of Vocational Nurses and Psychiatric Technicians, the California Licensed Vocational Nurses’ Association, the Licensed Vocational Nurses League of California, Inc., and other vocational nurse organizations, the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges and other vocational schools, and the California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems. The foundation shall solicit the advice of representatives who reflect the demographic diversity of California.

(Added by Stats. 2003, Ch. 640, Sec. 20. Effective January 1, 2004. Section operative July 1, 2004, pursuant to Section 128501.)

128500.
  

There is hereby established in the State Treasury the Vocational Nurse Education Fund. All money in the fund shall be used for the purposes specified in the California Vocational Nurse Education Program established pursuant to this article. This fund shall receive money collected pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 2895 of the Business and Professions Code.

(Added by Stats. 2003, Ch. 640, Sec. 20. Effective January 1, 2004. Section operative July 1, 2004, pursuant to Section 128501.)

128501.
  

This article shall become operative on July 1, 2004.

(Added by Stats. 2003, Ch. 640, Sec. 20. Effective January 1, 2004. Note: This section prescribes a delayed operative date (July 1, 2004) for Article 4, commencing with Section 128475.)

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