H. B. 4188
(By Delegates Perdue, Fleischauer, Diserio,
Eldridge, Kinsey, Lawrence, Marshall,
Moore and Poore)
[Introduced January 15, 2014; referred to the
Committee on Health and Human Resources then Education.]
A Bill to repeal §30-7B-8 and §30-7B-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §18C-3-4; and to amend and reenact §30-7B-1, §30-7B-2, §30-7B-3, §30-7B-4, §30-7B-5, §30-7B-6 and §30-7B-7 of said code, all relating to the center for nursing; permitting the administration of financial aid and higher education scholarship programs by the Higher Education Policy Commission; continuing the Center for Nursing and placing it under supervision of the Higher Education Policy Commission; moving the Center for Nursing special revenue account to the Higher Education Policy Commission; updating provisions regarding funding of the special revenue account; updating the powers and duties of the Center for Nursing; reorganizing the center’s board of directors, updating membership and powers and duties of the board; authorizing reimbursement for board members’ actual and necessary expenses; requiring annual reports to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources Accountability and the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability; providing for financial aid programs to benefit nurses who teach or practice in West Virginia; setting out minimum financial aid amounts for nurses; establishing conditions for receipt of financial aid for nursing students; providing for reimbursement by nursing students who fail to meet service requirements for receipt of financial aid; defining terms; deleting obsolete language and making technical changes.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §30-7B-8 and §30-7B-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be repealed; that said code be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §18C-3-4; and that §30-7B-1, §30-7B-2, §30-7B-3, §30-7B-4, §30-7B-5, §30-7B-6 and §30-7B-7 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 18C. STUDENT LOANS; SCHOLARSHIPS AND STATE AID.
ARTICLE 3. HEALTH PROFESSIONALS STUDENT LOAN AND SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS.
§18C-3-4. Nursing financial aid program; funding; administration; student awards; service requirements.
(a) There is continued in the State Treasury a special revenue account known as the “Center for Nursing Fund” to be administered by the commission for the purposes of this section. Balances remaining in the fund at the end of the fiscal year do not expire or revert to the general revenue. All costs associated with the administration of this section shall be paid from the Center for Nursing Fund under the direction of the Vice Chancellor for Administration. Administrative costs are to be minimized and the maximum amount feasible is to be used to fund awards for students in nursing programs.
(b) The account is funded from the following sources:
(1) A supplemental licensure fee not to exceed $10 per year to be paid by all nurses licensed by the Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses, pursuant to section eight-a, article seven, chapter thirty of this code, and the Board of Examiners for Licensed Practical Nurses, pursuant to section seven-a, article seven-a, chapter thirty of this code;
(2) Repayments, including interest as set by the vice chancellor for administration, collected from program award recipients who fail to practice or teach in West Virginia under the terms of the program award agreement as set forth under this section; and
(3) Other public and private funds.
(c) In consultation with the board of directors of the West Virginia Center for Nursing, established pursuant to article seven-b, chapter thirty of this code, the commission shall administer a financial aid program designed to benefit nurses who practice in hospitals and other health care institutions or teach in state nursing programs. Awards shall be made as follows, subject to the terms of the rule provided in this section:
(A) An award of at least $3,000 for a student in an approved LPN nursing program located in the state. The student shall be required to practice in West Virginia for at least one year;
(B) An award of at least $7,500 for a student who has completed half of an approved RN nursing program located in West Virginia. A recipient shall be required to teach or practice in West Virginia for at least two years.
(C) An award of at least $15,000 to a student in a nursing education master’s degree program or doctoral student in an approved nursing program located in West Virginia who shall be required to teach in the state for at least two years.
(D) An award of at least $1,000 per year for a student obtaining a licensed practical nurse teaching certificate who shall be required to teach in the state for at least one year per amount awarded.
(d) A student who has received financial aid under the provisions of this section shall meet one of the following conditions:
(1) Fulfill the service requirements provided in this section and in any rules pertaining to this program which are duly promulgated by the commission; or
(2) Reimburse the commission for the amount received under this section together with accrued interest as provided by the student agreement.
(e) The commission shall propose legislative rules in accordance with the provisions of article three-a, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the provisions of this section. The rules shall address at least the following issues:
(1) Eligibility and selection criteria for participation in the financial aid program;
(2) Terms of a student agreement which the student must execute as a condition of receiving financial aid;
(3) Reimbursement and repayment by students who receive financial aid but fail to fulfill the post-graduation practice requirements;
(4) Forgiveness options for death or disability of a student who received financial aid under this section; and
(5) An appeal process for students who were denied participation or who have been ordered to pay reimbursement and interest for failure to meet the conditions of receiving financial aid.
(f) The commission shall report by December 1, annually to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources Accountability and the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability on the number of students who have received awards and on all other matters relevant to the provisions of this section.
CHAPTER 30. PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS.
ARTICLE 7B. CENTER FOR NURSING.
As used in this article, the words mean the following:
(b) “Board” means the Board of Directors for the West Virginia Center for Nursing.
(c) “Center” means the West Virginia Center for Nursing.
§30-7B-2. West Virginia Center for Nursing.
(a) The West Virginia Center for Nursing is continued to address the issues of recruitment and retention of nurses in West Virginia.
(b) The Higher Education Policy Commission shall provide suitable office space for the center and shall provide staff support as necessary. The commission also shall share statistics and other pertinent information with the center and shall work cooperatively to assist it to achieve its objectives.
§30-7B-3. Center’s powers and duties.
The center shall:
(a) Establish a statewide strategic plan to address the nursing shortage in West Virginia;
(b) Establish and maintain a website to disseminate information about the center, its mission, educational opportunities and financial aid available in West Virginia;
(c) Evaluate capacity for expansion of nursing programs, including the availability of faculty, clinical laboratories, computers and software, library holdings and supplies;
(d) Administer a financial aid program designed to benefit nurses who practice in hospitals and other health care institutions or teach in state nursing programs as provided in section four, article three, chapter eighteen-c; and
(e) Perform other activities necessary or expedient to accomplish the purposes and implement the provisions of this article.
§30-7B-4. Board of directors.
(a) The center is governed by a board consisting of the following members:
(1) Two representatives from the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses, as follows:
(A) One representing a bachelor and higher degree program; and
(B) One representing an associate degree program;
(2) One representative from the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Licensed Practical Nurses;
(3) One representative from the West Virginia Nurses Association;
(4) One nurse representing a rural health care facility;
(5) One director of nursing;
(6) One health care administrator;
(7) One registered professional staff nurse engaged in direct patient care;
(8) One licensed practical nurse engaged in direct patient care;
(9) Two citizen members as required by section four-a, article one, chapter thirty of this code;
(10) Two ex officio, nonvoting members, as follows:
(A) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources or his or her designee; and
(B) A representative from the Workforce Development Office.
(b) After the initial terms expire, terms are four years and no member may serve more than two consecutive terms.
(c) The board shall elect annually from its voting members a president and a secretary as required by section three, article one, chapter thirty of this code. A majority of the appointed members constitutes a quorum.
(d) In the case of a vacancy, the Governor has thirty days to fill the vacancy.
(e) The members of the board who are in office on the effective date of this section, unless sooner removed, shall continue to serve until their respective terms expire and until their successors have been appointed and qualified.
(f) Each member of the board is entitled to receive reimbursement for expenses in accordance with article one, chapter thirty of this code and section six of this article.
§30-7B-5. Powers and duties of the board of directors.
(a) The board has the following powers and duties:
(1) Determine policy for the operation of the center to accomplish the purposes of this article; and
(2) Advise the Higher Education Policy Commission on matters pertaining to the administration of the nursing financial aid program established pursuant to section four, article three, chapter eighteen-c of this code.
(b) The board shall rely upon the staff of the Higher Education Policy Commission to provide administrative and professional support as needed.
§30-7B-6. Reimbursement for expenses.
(a) Members of the board shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred for each day or portion thereof in which they are engaged in the discharge of official duties. Reimbursements are made in a manner consistent with guidelines of the travel management office of the Department of Administration.
(b) The Higher Education Policy Commission shall provide for members’ reimbursement from the funds accrued in the Center for Nursing Fund revenue account.
The center shall report by December 1, 2014 and every other year to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources Accountability and the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability on its progress in developing a statewide strategic plan to address the nursing shortage in West Virginia and on any other issues the board considers relevant to the practice of nursing in this state. Additionally, the board shall provide drafts of legislation needed to implement recommendations of the center’s strategic plan.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to update the authority and responsibility of the Center on Nursing.
§18C-3-4 is new; therefore, it has been completely underscored.
Article 7B, Chapter 30 has been completely rewritten; therefore, it has been completely underscored.