As state officials struggled to install a new computer system designed to make online licensing for nurses easier, journalists from around the state turned to experts and students at Samuel Merritt University to understand the impact of the delays.
In October, the Department of Consumer Affairs in Sacramento started using BreEZe – a new $52 million software system meant to improve efficiency for online licensing and enforcement for thousands of incoming and current nurses. But a glitch has left more than 4,000 recent graduates in the lurch, seeing their applications caught in a bureaucratic hold, and delaying their employment start dates at California hospitals.Hundreds of recent graduates still have not been issued a date to take their licensing exam.
KTVU Channel 2 visited the Oakland campus to interview Audrey Berman, dean of the nursing program at SMU. Berman, an expert on the issue, outlined the controversy for reporters and was also quoted in the Sacramento Bee and The Los Angeles Times.
She told the outlets the unprecedented delay was adding stress to an already stressful situation for nursing grads entering a tight job market.
"They have done what they're supposed to do and they found a job, but they can't start without their license in hand," Berman told The Times.
Nursing student Thania Salazar told KTVU, “It makes me nervous because I honestly don’t want to wait too long after I graduate from Samuel Merritt University to take my test.”
A spokesman for the Department of Consumer Affairs told KTVU he expected the delays to be ironed out before 2014 spring graduates entered the licensing process.
pictured: Audrey Berman