Action is needed Immediately!!

Posted over 7 years ago by Wendy Rusin

To the Nurse Practitioners of Utah, 

Action is needed immediately!! 

Below is a bill which will if passed eliminate DOPL over site of Nursing Programs in Utah and possibly allow Nursing programs to come into Utah with lower standards than currently allowed. 

S.B. 263 Education Requirements for Nursing Licensure Amendments -- Davis, G. and House Floor Sponsor: Newbold, M.

To borrow from CJ Ewell who so eloquently stated: 

Changes made to SB 263, would remove DOPL from a position of oversight of nursing education in Utah. This bill has passed in the Senate and is now being taken up in the House of Representatives. Strong oversight is needed in order to ensure quality education in nursing programs and I urge you to reject the amendment that removes DOPL from that role. 

While our record on nursing programs in Utah is good, there are several programs that have struggled to meet the requirements to maintain their standing, and standards too! 

Absent the oversight provided by DOPL, there is every reason to believe that they may well cease to meet expectations and we would then be in a situation in which their graduates would not be adequately prepared to pass their national exams and would be unable to practice in any state. With a nursing shortage looming, our state cannot afford that and neither can the students of those programs. 

The amendment made to SB 263 that removes DOPL oversight must not be allowed to stand. DOPL has provided exemplary service in ensuring quality nursing education in Utah and must be allowed to continue that vital role. 

Below is a letter of opposition sent to the bill sponsors sent by the Director of DOPL, Mark Steinagel. 

Senate Bill 263 passed out of the Senate today with an amendment that significantly concerns DOPL and the Department of Commerce. The amendment 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. We believe it is the wrong policy for many reasons: 

  1. It does not solve any existing problem in Utah. It addresses an issue that has allegedly occurred in an east coast state. 
  2. The school that is pushing the change admits they are an approved program in good standing and have no issue with Utah's current rules. They are nervous about potential rules that we have assured them will not happen. 
  3. The bill seeks to change accreditation requirements for schools offering approved nursing education programs. In the short time we have reviewed the issue, we don't understand yet how it will affect existing programs. 
  4. We are currently monitoring schools that could be excluded from DOPL oversight, including programs that are not meeting the current standards. 
  5. 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. 
  6. It appears that unlike other professional accreditation and approval programs nationally, nursing accreditation bodies defer to state nursing boards. 

In summary, SB 263, as amended, is very likely to create a gap in oversight of nursing education programs. I am not generally concerned about a gap in oversight, but I have recently seen enough compliance issues with nursing education programs that I believe it is a bad time to create a gap in oversight. 

Please contact your State Representative immediately to express your concern.

Thank you very much. 

Lee Moss, NP 

American Academy of Nurse Practitioners 
Utah State Representative
801-231-7840 (C) 
801-581-3050 (W) 
801-581-8446 (Fax)