hb 03-1284 - "concerning changes to the nursing programs
at state-supported institutions of higher education, and, in connection therewith, directing the colorado commission on higher education to implement a plan designed to increase access to, enrollment in, and graduation from nursing certificate and nursing degree programs
." (rep. debbie stafford, r-aurora and sen. steve johnson, r-fort collins)
declares that there must be substantial changes in the nursing education programs in this state to eliminate barriers that limit access to, enrollment in, and graduation from nursing programs. declares that the barriers that must be addressed include: a) delays in and denial of approval of nursing programs; b) limits on the number of qualified applicants accepted to nursing programs; c) poor application processes; d) unavailability of course and clinical work; and e) the failure to implement more nurses for the colorado fund. further, repeals the authority of the state board of nursing to approve nursing programs in this state and grants such authority to the colorado commission on higher education(cche).
hb 03-1284 also repeals the authority of the state nursing board to determine whether institutions outside colorado have acceptable education programs for the purposes of nursing licensure requirements as well as the requirement that an institution in colorado seek approval from the state nursing board for its educational programs that prepare individuals for licensure as a practical or professional nurse. state institutional program approval shifts, under the bill, to cche. cche would be required to submit specific data to the colorado general assembly regarding nursing courses in each state-supported institution of higher education that offers nursing courses. the bill further requires cche to direct the governing board of each institution to secure participation from health care providers and to ensure timely, effective, and efficient use of moneys donated for the "more nurses for colorado" fund.
hb 03-1284 further requires cche and the governing board of each institution, on or before july 1, 2004, to develop, approve, and implement a plan to increase access to, enrollment in, and graduation from the nursing certificate and degree programs.
the bill requires each plan; a) to include specific methodologies, course and clinical work, application processes, and an academic subcommittee; b) to ensure an immediate increase in nurse graduates and clinical sites offered; c) each institution to annually report data regarding certificate and degree programs in nursing to cche; and d) cche to analyze such data and report the data to the state legislature. current status as of 2/11/2003: introduced in the house 1/31 and assigned to the house health, environment, welfare and institutions (hewi) committee. awaiting hewi committee hearing.
under 23-1-126. commission - nursing programs.
(b) establish a maximum thirty-credit-hour licensed practical nurse certificate program and a maximum
sixty-credit-hour registered nurse certificate program, and at f o ur- yea r institutio n s, an ad d itio n al
one-hundred-twenty-credit-hour bachelor of nursing degree program;
see the full proposed hb03-1284 legislation:
will this legislation improve nursing practice and number of graduates in colorado or just shift balance of power????
Feb 21, '03
Among other things, is this not preparing the way for importing more foreign nurses who would not qualify to work in other states?
Last edit by sjoe on Feb 22, '03
Feb 21, '03
I haven't investigated this in detail, but it seems like government lip service to make it appear that the state is doing something to combat the nursing shortage. Trouble is, this legislation is redundant. I cannot speak for all universities, but most of this is already in place. Most nursing programs in this state are already accredited by several organizations such as the National League of Nursing, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, State Board of Nursing and, yes, even the Colorado Commission of Higher Education. These accrediting organizations have specific criteria for curriculum, so if the educational institution is accredited, they meet that criteria. Also, our Associate degree programs currently require 65 credit hours (this legislation requires 60), and the 4-year programs require 128 credits (this legislation requires 120) for completion of the program. Therefore, schools already meet these requirements. And, let me just add that these credit requirements do not include the actual 1200 clinical hours required for graduation that are currently in place. Again, this legislation is redundant and only seeks to transfer power from the BON to the CCHE, who has no business medling in the affairs of nurse licensure.
As far as repealing the authority of the BON to determine whether institutions outside of CO have acceptable educational requirements, that's just assinine. The benchmark for nursing licensure is the NCLEX, which is a National exam. So, it is not within the authority of the CCHE to dictate this.
What really irritates me about this legislation is that with a state budget deficit of 850 billion dollars, they could be using their time and efforts in a more constructive way. Seems like this legislation would do nothing for the nursing shortage except perhaps make it worse for Colorado. As a side note..in an effort to offset the state budget deficit, they're looking at cutting 1.5 million from nursing homes "resources" statewide and ending medicaid benefits for legal immigrants in the state. I'll be writing yet another letter to my representatives.
Last edit by WashYaHands on Feb 21, '03