Media Relations

New Law Allows California State Nursing Schools to Offer the DNP

Share |

Press Release  
For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 30, 2010 - 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

# # #

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for university and four-year college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 640 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN's educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications, and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor's- and graduate-degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. Website:



Robert Rosseter, 202-463-6930, ext. 231