Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


UCLA Will Let Eligible Med School Students Graduate Early

Nursing students can help swell the ranks of those fighting COVID-19. (Jean-Francois Monier/AFP via Getty Images)
Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday said 25,000 health care professionals have offered their services during the COVID-19 crisis. Those nurses and doctors-in-training also want to step up.

Medical schools in the University of California system are trying to make it easy for fourth-years to join the workforce faster, said Dr. Clarence Braddock, vice dean for education at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.

"The University of California has taken the position that (students) who had completed their requirements -- and who wish to -- could graduate early if their residency program needed them," Braddock said.

But Braddock said some hospitals may be so overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases that they can't on-board a new resident.

Support for LAist comes from

By comparison, nursing students may be easier to deploy because they can be used in many different kinds of settings.

Ron Norby, interim director of the nursing school at Cal State-Dominguez Hills, said that the 60 students in the family nurse practitioner program are able to, for example, screen patients for underlying conditions that could exacerbate COVID-19 infections.

"All of those (students) potentially could go into hospitals or into physican's offices or clinics," Norby said.

Norby said a few weeks ago, hospitals were canceling trainings for his students. Now those same hospitals are asking him how to bring them back.

Nursing students are on the list of health care professionals the governor is recruiting for his Health Corps initiative. So are medical residents. Medical students, however, are not.


We're all living through this extraordinary and frightening pandemic. The vast majority of our newsroom has been working from home (here's some advice on that) since March 11 to bring you calm, helpful reporting. We are answering your questions and taking more.

We're here to help. And if you can help support that effort financially, we'd be grateful.