Senate Bill No. 379
(By Senators Stollings, Laird, Foster, Kessler (Mr. President), Plymale and Jenkins)
[Introduced January 23, 2012; referred to the Committee on Health and Human Resources; and then to the Committee on Government Organization.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §30-7E-1, §30-7E-2 and §30-7E-3, all relating to authorizing the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses to designate programs in which persons regulated by the board may be monitored while they pursue treatment and recovery for alcohol abuse, chemical dependency or major mental illness; and voluntary enrollment without being subject to disciplinary action if the person complies with the goals and restrictions of the program.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §30-7E-1, §30-7E-2 and §30-7E-3, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 7E. NURSE HEALTH PROGRAMS.
For the purposes of this article, the following words and terms have the meanings ascribed to them, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
(1) "Board" mean the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses.
(2) "Major mental illness" means a diagnosis of a mental disorder within the axis of psychotic or affective or mood, or alcohol or chemical abuse, or alcohol or chemical dependency, as stipulated in the International Code of Diagnosis.
(3) "Nurse" means those health care professionals licensed by the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses.
(4) "Nurse Health Program" means a program meeting the requirements of this article.
(5) "Qualifying illness" means the diagnosis of alcohol or substance abuse or alcohol or substance dependency or major mental
§30-7E-2. Nurse health program.
(a) The board may permit a nurse diagnosed with a major mental illness or qualifying illness to participate in a nurse health program.
(b) The board is authorized to designate one or more nurse health programs. To be eligible for designation by the boards, a nurse health program shall:
(1) Enter into an agreement with the board outlining specific requirements of the program;
(2) Agree to make their services available to all licensed West Virginia registered professional nurses with a qualifying illness;
(3) Provide for the education of nurses with respect to the recognition and treatment of alcohol, chemical dependency and mental illness and the availability of the nurse health program for
(4) Offer assistance to any person in referring a nurse for purposes of assessment or treatment or both for a qualifying illness;
(5) Monitor the status of a nurse who enters treatment for a qualifying illness pursuant to a written, voluntary agreement during treatment;
(6) Monitor the compliance of a nurse who enters into a written, voluntary agreement for a qualifying illness with the nurse health program setting forth a course for recovery;
(7) Agree to accept referrals from the board to provide monitoring services pursuant to a board order; and
(8) Include such other requirements as the board deems necessary.
(c) A designated nurse health program shall:
(1) Set and collect reasonable fees, grants and donations for administration and services provided;
(2) Work collaboratively with the board to develop model compliance agreements;
(3) Work collaboratively with the board to identify qualified providers of services as may be needed by the individuals participating in the physician health program;
(4) Report to the board no less than annually, statistics including the number of individuals served by license held; the number of compliant individuals; the number of individuals who have successfully completed their agreement period; and the number of individuals reported to a particular board for suspected noncompliance: Provided, That in making such report the nurse health program shall not disclose any personally identifiable information relating to any nurse participating in a voluntary agreement as provided herein: Provided, however, That in the case of a nurse not in compliance with the requirements, full disclosure of information will be provided to the board.
(d) The fact that a nurse is participating in a designated nurse health program is confidential, as is all nurse patient information, acquired, created or used by the physician health program, and it shall remain confidential and may not be subject to discovery or subpoena in a civil case. The disclosure of participation and noncompliance to the board, as required by a compliance agreement, waives the confidentiality as to the board for disciplinary purposes.
(e) The nurse health program and all persons engaged in nurse health program activities are immune from civil liability and no civil action may be brought or maintained while the nurse health program and all persons engaged in nurse health program activities are acting in good faith and within the scope of their duties.
(f) The board is immune from civil liability and no civil action may be brought or maintained against the board or the state for an injury alleged to have been the result of the activities of the nurse health program or the board referral of an individual to the nurse health program when they are acting in good faith and within the scope of their duties.
§30-7E-3. Discretionary authority of boards to designate programs.
The West Virginia Board of Examiners of Registered Professional Nurses has the sole discretion to designate nurse health programs for licensees of the respective boards and no provision of this article may be construed to entitle any nurse to the creation or designation of a nurse health program for any individual qualifying illness or group of qualifying illnesses.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize the West
Virginia Board of Examiners of Registered Professional Nurses to
designate programs in which nurses may be monitored while they
pursue treatment and recovery for alcohol abuse, chemical
dependency or major mental illness, and in which these persons may
voluntarily enroll without being subject to disciplinary action if
the person complies with the goals and restrictions of the program.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.