New Law Opens Door for California State University Nursing Schools to Offer the Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- On Tuesday, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law Assembly Bill 867, which permits the California State University (CSU) system to launch a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Pilot Program. Previously in the state of California, only schools affiliated with the University of California (UC) system were permitted to offer doctoral degrees in nursing.

“Removing regulatory barriers to higher education in nursing is a critical step to sustaining the momentum for raising educational standards for nurses working in advanced roles,” said AACN President Kathleen Potempa. “AACN applauds California’s governor and legislature for recognizing the importance of creating greater access to DNP programs and for preparing more nurses at the doctoral level for high demand clinical and faculty positions.”

The new law authorizes the California State University to establish DNP programs at three campuses, which may accommodate up to 90 full-time equivalent doctoral students. The DNP pilot program must be designed to enable professionals to earn the degree while working full time, educate nurses for advanced practice roles, and prepare clinical faculty to teach in postsecondary nursing programs. To read the text of the new law, see

“Passage of this bill would not have been possible without the strong advocacy for change on the part of CSU nursing schools and other advocates in the state,” added Dr. Potempa. “Their collective efforts have helped to open the doors of opportunity to nurses wishing to complete the terminal practice degree for the nursing profession, the DNP.”

To read AACN’s letter of support for Assembly Bill 867, the Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree Pilot Program, see

To read more about the national movement toward the DNP, including the latest data on enrollment and graduations, see


American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
Robert Rosseter, 202-463-6930
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  California  District of Columbia

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