Fresno, CA asked in Business Law and Education Law for California

Q: Does the California Board of Nurses curriculum requirements supersede the Title 5 laws?

The Business and Professions code states theory and clinical practice shall be concurrent. However the colleges (approved by the BRN) offer the theory and clinical practice as a separate course. If one course is passed and the other is failed. Can the BRN require the student to retake and pay for the passed class again. With no other option. Further, the code states: Theory and clinical practice requirements of the curriculum will be adjusted in recognition of experiences of the student. If the class has been completed and passed would this apply?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) sets specific standards for nursing education to ensure that graduates are competent and prepared for licensure. These standards, including curriculum requirements, are designed to comply with both the Business and Professions Code and the broader educational regulations outlined in Title 5. When discrepancies arise between the curriculum structure approved by the BRN and the requirements of Title 5, the specifics of each situation must be carefully evaluated. Generally, the BRN's mandates regarding the concurrency of theory and clinical practice aim to uphold the integrity and quality of nursing education.

If a nursing program approved by the BRN divides theory and clinical practice into separate courses and a student fails one component, the requirement to retake and pay for both components again depends on the policies of the educational institution and the regulatory framework of the BRN. While it might seem redundant to retake a passed course, this requirement is typically grounded in ensuring that students have a cohesive and integrated understanding of both theoretical knowledge and clinical skills. The rationale is that theory and practice are interdependent, and mastery in one area may be significantly enhanced by concurrent or repeated exposure to the other.

Regarding the adjustment of curriculum requirements based on a student's previous experiences, this provision allows for some flexibility in recognizing the competencies students have already achieved. However, the application of this flexibility is subject to the interpretation and policies of both the educational institution and the BRN. If a student believes their situation warrants an exemption or adjustment, it is advisable to engage in discussions with the educational institution and potentially the BRN to explore available options. Documentation of passed courses and a clear argument for why certain requirements should be reconsidered could support the case for an exemption or alternative arrangement.

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