Colorodo legislature HB 03-1284 attempting to remove SBON powers

  1. 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????
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  3. by   Stargazer
    You know, I was nodding my head in agreement until I got to the second part of (e):
    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).
    That is just a baaaaad idea, my friends.

    Oh, and then there was this:
    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.
    Are they kidding? What the hell?

    Karen (or any Colorado nurses), what's being done to oppose this?
  4. by   sjoe
    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
  5. by   Sleepyeyes
    This is not good folks, not good at all....
  6. by   -jt
    <what's being done to oppose this?>

    the Colorado Nurses Assoc govt affairs division can probably answer that. Email
  7. by   IRISHBREAD
    if this goes through we regress 100 yrs instead of progressing. with all the leaps and bounds in medicine we need more highly educated people. this is not the way to go!
  8. by   WashYaHands
    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 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
  9. by   Sleepyeyes
    I'd laugh at your letter, Linda, but these changes seriously jeopardize and politicize nursing as we know it. where's dat SuzyK when ya really need her???
  10. by   WashYaHands
    Sleepyeyes, Yes, I agree. Sorry for my silly humor, but I am increasingly frustrated with many governmental state bills right now. This one just adds to my list. I'll edit the humor, as I agree that this is a serious issue.

  11. by   Sleepyeyes
    heck, didn't intend to sound mean, Linda, but the first thing i felt when i read that bill was fear.

    I mean, what if this awful idea caught on?
  12. by   WashYaHands
    I sent out a few emails today, received some responses. Nursing is very united in opposing this bill.

    Dear Colorado Nurse Legislative Connection,

    HB1284 concerning nursing education in Colorado is a bill that would have very serious implications for nursing practice in Colorado. CNA Government Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP) committee and nursing entities throughout the state oppose this bill. At a meeting Monday morning, February 10, high level representatives from ADN schools of nursing, BSN programs, private universities, Colorado Hospital Association, nursing administration, State Board of Nursing, and the Colorado Nurses Association met with Representative Debbie Stafford, at CNA's request, to present their extreme concerns about this bill. The bill's primary advocate is Ralph Nagle, owner of Meridian nursing homes and President of the Board of CCHE. Another meeting is planned for Monday, February 17, and the bill will be heard in the HEWI committee on Wednesday, February 19. Please contact your legislators.
    There are several major concerns with this bill:

    --Removes the approval/accreditation of nursing education from the State Board of Nursing (SBON) to Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE). Other SBONs will not recognize licensees from nursing programs that are not approved by the SBON and/or have national accreditation. Other State Boards of Nursing are very concerned about this bill when surveyed recently by the Colorado SBON Director, Pat Uris.

    --Reduces credit hour requirements for nursing education to 30 hours for LPNs; 60 hours for associate degree RNs (currently 78); and 120 hours for baccalaureate RNs (currently 157 - 162). In effect, Colorado would have the lowest requirements for nursing in the country. All levels of nursing education in Colorado oppose this restriction, and it poses significant concern regarding reciprocity in other states. In addition there are concerns about public safety if nursing education is further limited.

    --Requires an increase in nursing enrollment equivalent to increases in the state population over the past 10 years - and in a very short period of time. In fact, all schools have increased their enrollments in the past two years already. There are significant barriers to further rapid increased enrollment - 1) The lack of available nursing faculty in the state and nationally 2) the lack of capacity for clinical rotations. Hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other clinical sites are already being used to capacity, including weekends, evenings, summers 3) physical facilities at teaching institutions are already beyond capacity 4) financial limitations due to state budget decreases, which have already required state schools to cut staff and services.

    --Requires clinical sites to expand their availability even further. (See above),. Many hospital, clinical sites and nursing education programs have already developed innovative programs to better utilize clinical nursing staff, college faculty and clinical facilities.

    In essence, this bill would severely limit license reciprocity of Colorado nurses, places inordinate burden on a clinical and educational system that has already begun to address nursing shortage issues in innovative ways, and potentially will affect the safety of Colorado citizens by decreasing education requirements for nurses and adversely affect the supply of nurses. There are also significant financial implications from this bill.

    At this time, CNA is in contact with nursing stakeholders throughout the state and every group is very concerned about and opposes this bill.

    Colorado Nurses Association
    Government Affairs and Public Policy Committee
  13. by   NRSKarenRN
    thanks for following up on this. wash your hands, what do you think would be an affective stratigy for us to use?

    i know that colorado voters/licensed rn's will have the most punch in contacting legislators.

    ps: go to the above legislative link then click on the line above the bill that says "fiscal inpact". i found it informative this info---

    state appropriations
    this fiscal note indicates an appropriation of $1,780,342 general fund and 10.0 fte to the department of higher education is required in fy 2003-04.
  14. by   sjoe
    It does not seem to me that lack of reciprocity would be a very strong argument, since one of the goals would be to keep Colorado-trained nurses from being able to leave the state.

    Colorado, of course, could still take nurses in from other states and other countries, leaving it a net gainer of nurses.