Saturday, March 12, 2011

Representatives Approve Changes to Nursing Practice Act

Rep. Pat Ownbey
Legislation approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives would modify the Nursing Practice Act to bring it more in line with regulations nationwide.

State Rep. Pat Ownbey, who authored the bill, said bringing the board and certification requirements in line with national regulations will ensure that nurses in the state are qualified for federal positions and employment with national companies.

“Oklahoma’s law just needs to be in line with national regulations and guidelines,” Ownbey, R-Ardmore, said. “This will help those who are seeking employment as a nurse to be able to work anywhere in the country and allow those coming in from out of state to be met with guidelines that they are familiar with. It’s basically a jobs bill.”

House Bill 1275, by state Rep. Pat Ownbey, would standardize the titles and roles of nursing professions that the State Board of Nursing can license or certify and create provisions for the licensure of advanced practice registered nurses and advanced unlicensed assistants. It would also clarify that no single fee for a license or certification be more than $125.

One of the more important provisions would be updating the criminal background check requirements, Ownbey said.

“The legislation contains many changes to update our nursing certification laws, but the background check changes are a key safety issue,” Ownbey said. “The new background checks will be more thorough and catch people that might have slipped through the system in the past.”

House Bill 1275 would also:
  • Require that applicants for RN and LPN licenses be at least 18 years of age;
  • Give the State Board of Nursing the ability to authorize or deny prescriptive and drug-related authority;
  • Authorize the State Board or Nursing to discipline a license holder if the person defaults on the Peer Assistance Program or violates rules on professional boundaries with patients or sexual misconduct;
  • Authorize the executive director to rescind the license of someone not entitled to it and suspend the license of certain incarcerated persons until action has been taken on reinstatement requests;
  • Redefine nurses licensed in another state who can practice temporarily in Oklahoma; and
  • Authorize the Board to recognize graduates of certain nursing education programs as qualified and promulgate related rules.
Ownbey said he was pleased to receive unanimous support of his bill.

“It was nice to sponsor a nonpartisan, win-win bill,” Ownbey said. “My hope is that this legislation will make things a bit easier for nurses in the state and entering the state.”
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...