Can California Nursing Students Help During COVID-19?

With the growing need for more nurses and health care professionals to assist with the overflow of COVID19 patients in health care facilities, the California Board of Registered Nursing and Governor Gavin Newsom are developing solutions to allow California nursing students to help. 

One solution has been to allow nursing students to join the state’s Health Corps initiative. On March 30, 2020, Governor Newsom issued an executive order urging nursing school and medical school students, as well as retired health care professionals, to help fight COVID19 by registering for Health Corps. The acting executive officer of the BRN has stated that nursing students participating in Health Corps will not be violating the Nursing Practice Act for practicing while unlicensed. For more information on Health Corps, eligibility requirements, and FAQs about the initiative, please visit

In addition to the Health Corps, the California Community Colleges published a memorandum on March 20, 2020, which identified three issues the Chancellor’s Office is working to address regarding nursing clinical hours and the impact of the closure of partner clinical sites due to COVID19. 

  1. Flexibility and Emergency Conditions Exemptions to the 75% Requirement: The Chancellor’s office has requested the Governor’s office issue an emergency condition exemption that would reduce clinical hours in direct patient care from 75% to 50% for programs that have been affected by an emergency or extraordinary condition. 
  2. Alternative Options for 75% Clinical Hours in Direct Patient Care: The Chancellor’s office has recommended that BRN programs discuss with Partner Clinical Sites the possibility of altering clinical hours to include telehealth or telephone triage options.
  3. NCLEX Testing: The National Council of State Boards of Nursing Learning Extension is extending NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN prep course subscriptions by 45 days. This extension applies to active courses (as of March 17, 2020) purchased between January 17, 2020 and March 17, 2020. 

For questions regarding your CA nursing license you can contact Goyette & Associates at 916.851-1900 or   

For more information on efforts to help nursing students participate in COVID19 relief efforts, please visit: