BrEZe System Not Exactly EZ

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BrEZe System Not Exactly EZ

Delays with BRN licencing

By Elizabeth Hanink, RN, BSN, PHN
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Computers are supposed to simplify administrative tasks, so you would think an online electronic system would be the perfect way to streamline the application and renewal process for licenses. Unfortunately, despite its $52 million price tag, the Board of Registered Nursing’s new BreEZe system has become a bottleneck for new grads applying for licensure during what was already a busy time for the board. Nurse practitioner furnishing numbers are also delayed.

Seriously? Paper Applications?
The problem is that BreEZe cannot yet accept online applications. Instead, applicants must print and mail paper forms and then wait for BRN employees to manually enter the data from those forms. The BRN says it can now take up to 90 days to process an application and determine the applicant’s eligibility, which is actually longer than the process took before BreEZe was rolled out in October. Previously, the board advised applicants to allow six to eight weeks, although in practice the process rarely took that long.

More Staffers Onboard
The BRN still has no firm date for when the online application system will be ready. In the interim, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), which oversees the BRN, plans to move an additional 15 staff members to the board offices to help the 18 employees currently processing applications. Russ Heimerich, the DCA’s deputy director of communications, says workers are still learning the new system, which requires a different kind of “muscle memory” than the old procedures did.

State Assembly Rep. Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto), whose office has fielded many calls from nursing graduates, hospital administrators and school officials, is calling for an audit of the system. “There are many other examples of persistent problems with tech system failure in state agencies,” Olsen told the L.A. Times. “These technology systems should be fully tested and problems fixed before rollout.” 

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