Anybody considered legal action against BONs for non-recognition?

  1. Doesn't apply to me as I enrolled prior to the CA cutoff date and would sooner die than live in Kansas. Has anybody ever considered filing suit against a BON for not recognizing an EC education? Since I'm not an attorney, perhaps one could comment. It seems to be a violation of the equal protection clause of the constitution. For example: If you live in a state that doesn't require drivers ed for an initial DL, your license is still valid in a state that does require drivers ed. States, and in particular Boards of Nursing, are charged with protecting the citizens of that state, the burden of proof would be on them to show that EC grads (who take the same licensing exam as any other grads) aren't as well prepared.

    Not sure if you'd win or lose, but it might be worth a shot.


    Just as an aside. Isn't it a bit ironic that while California doesn't recognize distance learning for nurses, it's the only state to recognize distance learning for lawyers?
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  2. 55 Comments

  3. by   bellcollector
    Doesn't apply to me either as I don't live in CA either but I think you have a valid argument. Would be interresting to say the least.
  4. by   RN34TX
    Quote from mobileLPN
    Doesn't apply to me as I enrolled prior to the CA cutoff date and would sooner die than live in Kansas.
    Doesn't apply to me either as I graduated before any of that nonsense started but I hope that people caught in the middle of this do attempt to pursue legal action or any other civil action to allow licensure in their state that does not allow EC grads.
    Love that comment about Kansas!!
    Talk about arrogant on their part. As if RN's around the country are coming to their state in droves hoping to get RN licensure and live there!!
  5. by   willtm
    I agree on the kansas comment However, as a current EC student, who has been taking one a month, currently on NC4 with 5, 6 and 7 left, I think I'll try to step up the pace. It concerns me because other states are contemplating the same decision, including Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. Again, I don't anticipate ever living in any of these states, I'm an east coaster all the way, but trend against EC is a bit unnerving as a current student who is hoping to get through before the door slams shut.


    Quote from RN34TX
    Doesn't apply to me either as I graduated before any of that nonsense started but I hope that people caught in the middle of this do attempt to pursue legal action or any other civil action to allow licensure in their state that does not allow EC grads.
    Love that comment about Kansas!!
    Talk about arrogant on their part. As if RN's around the country are coming to their state in droves hoping to get RN licensure and live there!!
  6. by   traumaRUs
    Illinois also doesn't recognize EC. I see both sides of this issue, but also feel that since we all take the same end-exam (NCLEX) - the education should be standardized.
  7. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Illinois also doesn't recognize EC. I see both sides of this issue, but also feel that since we all take the same end-exam (NCLEX) - the education should be standardized.
    Which brings up another good point (IMHO):

    Nursing education isn't standardized between schools in the same state, but all the grads who pass the NCLEX are RN's.

    I'm still for nationalization of the license. (See some other post where I verbosely expounded.....)

    Maybe we need a petition campaign? Somebody wanna find out whose on the Health and Human Services Committee? They would be the ones to write the initial law. What would it take to get petitions going? How many signatures would we need?

    (What are we doing in our spare time?)
  8. by   elkpark
    Nursing education isn't standardized between schools in the same state, but all the grads who pass the NCLEX are RN's.
    The nursing programs aren't standardized, BUT they are all approved by the state BON, or their graduates aren't eligible to sit for the NCLEX. Every state BON has the statutory authority to determine which nursing programs they will or won't accept for potential licensure.

    i doubt that unhappy EC grads would have any grounds to sue anyone.
  9. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Quote from elkpark
    The nursing programs aren't standardized, BUT they are all approved by the state BON, or their graduates aren't eligible to sit for the NCLEX. Every state BON has the statutory authority to determine which nursing programs they will or won't accept for potential licensure.
    And this BB and others like it are replete with anecdotal evidence of just how inconsistently those standards are met on a day to day basis.

    Certainly it appears that there isn't grounds for a lawsuit, but if, for example, foreign grads can be licensed in a state, and their programs aren't approved by the BON.... If grads of, say, a state not known for outstanding academic standards (about 25 states would be in the lower half of the "top 50 American states academically," wouldnt' they?) and grads of those programs in those states can be licensed in, say the top one or two states..... I think you see where I'm going with this. (BTW, which half of the scale do you think New York falls in? )

    It's become a very small world and an even smaller nation. We need national licensure, as a profession and as a nation.
  10. by   RN34TX
    Quote from willtm
    I agree on the kansas comment However, as a current EC student, who has been taking one a month, currently on NC4 with 5, 6 and 7 left, I think I'll try to step up the pace. It concerns me because other states are contemplating the same decision, including Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. Again, I don't anticipate ever living in any of these states, I'm an east coaster all the way, but trend against EC is a bit unnerving as a current student who is hoping to get through before the door slams shut.
    Don't let it shake you up too much. I'd be willing to bet that if the trend continues at all that the East coast will be the very last part of the country to do it.
    The reason I say that is that I worked out there as an LPN for 4 years and the nurses out there are the very ones who gave me the idea to go through EC. I was hesitant and unfamiliar with that program and was looking into regular LPN to RN transition programs and they all acted like I was crazy. Most RN's that I worked with out east who used to be LPN's got their RN through EC.
    My experience in the NY, NJ, and PA areas has been that EC has a good reputation and very well known out there. They are based in Albany so maybe their presence there has a lot to do with it.
    The CA decision has made a lot of waves around the country including my home state of TX who specifically reviewed the EC program recently because of the CA decision.
    Thankfully they did not follow suit after reviewing EC and rejected CA's notion that EC does not meet standards for RN licensure.
    I feel very badly for those KS students in the middle of their programs who are now finding out after investing their time, effort, and money that they will not be eligible for KS licensure.
  11. by   RN34TX
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Illinois also doesn't recognize EC. I see both sides of this issue, but also feel that since we all take the same end-exam (NCLEX) - the education should be standardized.
    Once again, that statement about IL not recognizing EC grads is not completely true. I read it again and again from IL nurses here but on the IL BON website there is a very specific clause that specifically mentions EC. EC grads who have practiced in a clinical setting as RN's in another state for two years can apply for licensure. It's all there on the IL BON website and very specifically mentions Excelsior College.
  12. by   willtm
    Actually, I think the Kansas students may have grounds. There are 70 EC students currently enrolled. Some of them have it in writing from the Kansas BON that EC is accepted and these letters are dated as recent as last fall. These people asked the board before they began the program...as did I, here in Georgia and also have it in writing. The Kansas board decided on December 27 that they would no longer eccapt EC grads for a license either by exam or endorsement. No one in grandfathered in. Unless you already are licensed in Kansas, you will never be licensed there.

    California set a cut off date which allowed those already enrolled to continue and become licensed in that state. This is not what Kansas has done.

    Quote from elkpark
    The nursing programs aren't standardized, BUT they are all approved by the state BON, or their graduates aren't eligible to sit for the NCLEX. Every state BON has the statutory authority to determine which nursing programs they will or won't accept for potential licensure.

    i doubt that unhappy EC grads would have any grounds to sue anyone.
  13. by   mona b RN
    Quote from willtm
    Actually, I think the Kansas students may have grounds. There are 70 EC students currently enrolled. Some of them have it in writing from the Kansas BON that EC is accepted and these letters are dated as recent as last fall. These people asked the board before they began the program...as did I, here in Georgia and also have it in writing. The Kansas board decided on December 27 that they would no longer eccapt EC grads for a license either by exam or endorsement. No one in grandfathered in. Unless you already are licensed in Kansas, you will never be licensed there.

    California set a cut off date which allowed those already enrolled to continue and become licensed in that state. This is not what Kansas has done.

    Yes, it seems a bit extreme. Especially in light of these students seeking permission in the first place. I wonder what the nitty gritty is of this whole thing.
  14. by   elkpark
    And this BB and others like it are replete with anecdotal evidence of just how inconsistently those standards are met on a day to day basis.

    Certainly it appears that there isn't grounds for a lawsuit, but if, for example, foreign grads can be licensed in a state, and their programs aren't approved by the BON.... If grads of, say, a state not known for outstanding academic standards (about 25 states would be in the lower half of the "top 50 American states academically," wouldnt' they?) and grads of those programs in those states can be licensed in, say the top one or two states..... I think you see where I'm going with this. (BTW, which half of the scale do you think New York falls in? )
    I was not defending any particular brick & mortar nursing program, or traditional nursing programs in general -- or anything about the nursing status quo, for that matter -- just pointing out that state BONs do have the statutory authority to determine what qualifications they will and won't accept for licensure in their state, whether their decisions make sense or not.

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