AN ACT IMPLEMENTING NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF NURSING TECHNICAL CHANGES, PROCEDURAL EFFICIENCIES, AND FEE CEILING INCREASES.
Amends GS 90-171.21 by amending the requirements for membership on the Board of Nursing (Board) to require that (1) every registered nurse member hold an active (was, hold a current) unencumbered license to practice as registered nurse in the state; (2) every licensed practical nurse member hold an active (was, hold a current) unencumbered license to practice as licensed practical nurse in the state; and (3) a public member must not be a licensed nurse or licensed health care professional or employed by a health care institution, health care insurer, or a health care professional school (was, a public member appointed by the Governor must not be a provider of health services or employed in the health services field); also prohibits any public member (was, limited to those appointed by the Governor) or person in that members' immediate family from being currently or previously employed as a licensed nurse. Provides that Board members are entitled to compensation for all necessary expenses and caps the per diem compensation of Board members at $200 per day per member for each day engaged in official Board business.
Amends the Board's duties as follows. Adds that it may determine whether an applicant or licensee is mentally and physically capable of practicing nursing with reasonable skill and safety; sets out related actions that the Board may take. Allows the Board to determine and administer appropriate disciplinary action against all regulated parties who violate this Article or rules (was, cause the prosecution of all persons violating this Article). Allows the Board to also withdraw approval for nursing programs. Allows the Board to establish programs for monitoring the treatment, recovery, and safe practice of nurses with substance use disorders, mental health disorders, or physical conditions impacting ability to deliver safe care (was, limited to chemical addiction or abuse or mental or physical disability and programs for monitoring those nurses). Allows the Board to enter into agreements (rather than establish programs) for aiding in the remediation of nurses. Allows the Board to order or subpoena the production of any patient records, documents, or other material concerning any matter to be heard before or inquired into by the Board.
Amends GS 90-171.27 by increasing the fees for application for examination leading to a certificate and license as registered nurse, application for each re-examination leading to licensure as registered nurse, renewal of license to practice as registered nurse, application for re-examination leading to license as a licensed practical nurse, and reinstatement of retired registered nurse to practice as a registered nurse or a retired licensed practical nurse to practice as a licensed practical nurse. Removes references to certificates.
Amends GS 90-171.33 by removing the provisions allowing for the issuance of a nonrenewable temporary license until the implementation of the computer adaptive licensure exam.
Amends GS 90-171.37 by expanding upon the Board's disciplinary authority to give the Board the authority to do the following to a person if the person is found to have done one of the specified actions: (1) implement probation, with or without conditions; (2) impose limitations and conditions; (3) accept voluntary surrender of a license; (4) publicly reprimand; (5) issue public letters of concern; (6) require satisfactory completion of treatment programs or remedial or educational training; or (7) refuse to issue a certificate of renewal, fine, deny, suspend, or revoke a license or privilege to practice nursing in this state. Expands upon actions that trigger disciplinary action. Specifies that the Board retains jurisdiction over an expired, inactive, or voluntarily surrendered license. Provides that the Board, its members, and staff are not able in any civil or criminal proceeding for exercising the powers and duties authorized by law in good faith.
Amends GS 90-171.37A by allowing the Board to take witness testimony by phone or videoconferencing. Makes clarifying changes.
Enacts new GS 90-171.37B allowing a licensee to appeal a Board's public disciplinary action to superior court; sets out the appeal procedure.
Enacts new GS 90-171.37C, which exempts from public record and makes privileged, confidential, not subject to discovery or subpoena, all documents containing information that the Board, its members, or its employees possess, gathered, or received as a result of investigations into a licensing complaint, appeal, assessment, or potential impairment matter. Requires the Board to give the licensee or applicant access to all information in its possession that it intends to offer into evidence at the licensee's or applicant's hearing. Makes any licensee's notice of statement of charges, notice of hearing, and all information contained in those documents public record. Sets out the procedure for when the Board, its employees, or its agents possess information indicating a crime may have been committed. Requires licensees to self-report to the Board any arrest or indictment for the specified levels of offenses. Specifies when confidential information may be released and the requirements for doing so.
Enacts new GS 90-171.37D to set out requirements for the service of notices required by the Nurse Practice Act.
Amends GS 90-171.40 to require review of nursing programs at least every 10 (was, eight) years. Requires that the Board take appropriate action, instead of requiring that approval be withdrawn when deficiencies are not corrected in a reasonable time. No longer requires that the list of programs and their approval status be published on an annual basis.
Amends GS 90-171.43, concerning licensure of registered nurses or practical nurses by adding that the Board may promulgate rules to enforce the statute. Make additional organizational changes.
Enacts new GS 90-171.49 allowing the Board to waive requirements of the Nurse Practice Act during states of emergency or disasters.
Makes conforming changes to GS 90-171.47 and GS 90-171.48.
Applies to licenses granted or renewed, and Board activities taken, on or after October 1, 2019.
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