Thursday, March 19, 2009
Debate on Nursing Programs
In yesterday's meeting of the Senate Committee on Health Regulation, attendees were not lacking for an exciting give-and-take over SB 2284, related to nursing programs. SB 2284, which is sponsored by Sen. Mike Haridopolos (R-26), repeals the authority of the Board of Nursing to approve programs for the education of nurses. While the nursing curriculum design would still be determined by the Board of Nursing, the school licensure process would be moved to the Department of Education or the Commission for Independent Education. People in support of the bill asserted it was needed since current Board of Nursing policies and actions create unnecessary barriers to expanding nurse education. Opponents of the bill declared that removing the approval authority from the Board of Nursing could result in inadequately trained nurses. The contentious issue seemed to break down along the lines of schools which support the bill and nurse organizations who are against the bill. In the end, the bill passed with a 5-3 vote.