In the course of my work as a nurse educator I became aware of the Utah SB 263 which has already passed the Utah State Senate and is now before the House. I believe the bill is misguided to say the least and would like help in making Utah State Representatives understand why this bill should not pass the House and become law in Utah. I have included a summary of the issues for your information.
Senate Bill 263 passed out of the Utah State Senate and is now before the House. S.B. 263 creates an exemption from DOPL and State Board of Nursing oversight for nursing education programs that are accredited by a list of national accrediting bodies. As a nursing educator, I believe it is the wrong policy for many reasons:
1. It does not solve any existing problem in Utah. It addresses a hypothetical issue, and I feel it is good policy to confine our legislative efforts to addressing real issues faced by the citizens of Utah.
2. The bill seeks to change accreditation requirements for schools offering approved nursing education programs. If an education program is accredited by an approved accrediting entity, that program will not be required to be subject to Utah State Board of Nursing oversight.
3. Utah is currently monitoring schools that could be excluded from DOPL oversight, including programs that are not meeting the current standards. Programs that are not meeting standards need more, not less, oversight. The public will not benefit in any way from lack of oversight from the State Board of Nursing.
4. Nationally, nursing accreditation and approval of nursing programs operate under the same model Utah uses with both accreditation requirements and state board program approval. This change would place Utah under a different nursing program monitoring system that all other states. The public will not benefit from this change.
In summary, SB 263, as it is being presented to the house, is very likely to create a gap in oversight of nursing education programs, which does nothing to protect the health of patients or instill confidence in the public regarding the nursing care they will receive when it is required.
Please take a stand!