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California nursing students seek help from lawmakers to graduate on time

Nursing students across the state are worried they won’t be able to graduate on time due to the coronavirus outbreak

Posted: Mar 25, 2020 10:11 PM

OROVILLE, Calif. - Nursing students across the state are worried they won’t be able to graduate on time due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The students and faculty at Butte College have been contacting Governor Newsom and lawmakers with their concerns hoping to receive help.

"It is so sad to think that after all this time our dreams of helping others might be delayed," Vondracek said.

Action News Now Skyped with a 4th-semester nursing student at Butte College, Devyn Vondracek.

She alongside her 59 other peers in the nursing program say they’re beginning to panic.

Schools are closed across the nation and students are now learning virtually.

"For most programs, this is not a big deal but for nursing students it is," she said, "We can do our theory online that’s not the problem it's being able to get those direct patient hours."

They’re called clinical hours, according to the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN). In order to graduate students must complete 25 percent simulation training and 75 percent direct patient care, which includes hands-on practices.

"Doing IV-meds, oral meds, shots just your basic care, we help people to the bathroom, take their vitals blood pressure heart rate," she says.

But with the Coronavirus outbreak, Vondracek says they’re not allowed in hospitals or at many of their clinical sites.

"Which makes it impossible to comply with the BRN’s rules," Vondracek said.

Action News Now also skyped with the Nursing Program Director, Laurie Meyers, "They’re afraid, they’re scared, they’re in doubt, they want to go out and help."

Meyers says 14,000 nursing students in the state are at risk of not graduating in May.

"Other states have already had an executive order by the governor to allow this exemption of 75 percent direct patient care for clinical hours and are ready to proceed," Meyers said.

The students have completed 890 hours so far – with 128 hours left to finish in the semester.

Meyers says while generally, it would be best for face to face clinical, virtual simulation is very comprehensive.

"They’re very robust they’re great learning opportunities many other states have already approved 50 percent virtual simulation before the crisis so just allowing us to get there in California would be beneficial," Meyers said.

Both Meyers, Vondracek and many others in the program have been working to make their voices heard by lawmakers.

"We have been calling sending emails and reaching out on social media," Vondracek said.

"They’ve reached out to the chancellor's office and the chancellor's office has heard us and they’re working with the governor pretty intently to help this but the governor still needs to hear our voice,"Meyers said.

Action News Now spoke with Senator Nielsen on the phone, he says with the shortage of healthcare workers as it is talk is already in the works with the governor to address the students' concerns.

Nielsen says me he’s confident the request is headed in a positive direction. He also added he can’t put a date on when the governor will speak out, but he says soon.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 122168

Reported Deaths: 4444
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles596922532
Riverside8303345
San Diego7798283
Orange6783165
San Bernardino5650209
Alameda364197
Santa Clara2850144
San Francisco264443
Imperial249330
Kern246245
San Mateo224484
Tulare208392
Fresno194437
Santa Barbara171414
Contra Costa154738
Sacramento149058
Ventura119035
Kings11876
San Joaquin102436
Stanislaus79230
Monterey62110
Sonoma5934
Solano55922
Marin52517
Merced3107
San Luis Obispo2881
Placer2599
Santa Cruz2192
Yolo21624
Madera1293
Napa1263
Humboldt1044
El Dorado980
San Benito962
Butte601
Nevada491
Sutter482
Del Norte470
Shasta404
Mono371
Mendocino330
Yuba311
Lake300
Inyo201
Glenn170
Calaveras160
Mariposa161
Amador100
Siskiyou90
Colusa70
Tehama61
Tuolumne50
Lassen50
Plumas40
Alpine20
Sierra10
Trinity10
Unassigned00
Chico
Broken Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 82°
Oroville
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 87°
Paradise
Broken Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 82°
Chester
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 74°
Red Bluff
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 85°
Willows
Broken Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 82°
Today will be nice but much cooler weather this weekend with a chance of showers and thunderstorms, mostly in the north valley and mountains. We heat up again next week.
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