H. B. 2137
(By Delegate Hatfield)
[Introduced January 13, 2003; referred to the
Committee on Health and Human Resources then Government
A BILL to amend article five-b, chapter sixteen of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by
adding thereto a new section, designated section six-b,
relating to requiring nurse representation on boards of
directors of hospitals and corporations that operate
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article five-b, chapter sixteen of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be
amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section
six-b, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5B. HOSPITALS AND SIMILAR INSTITUTIONS.
§16-5B-6b. Nurse representation on hospital boards of directors.
(a)(1) The Legislature finds that nurses:
(A) Have a broad knowledge base about the holistic approach to patient care;
(B) Are the only group which has contact with patients in
hospitals twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week;
(C) See the effect that budget decisions and policy decisions
have on the quality of care to patients; and
(D) Are well prepared intellectually and educationally to make
(2) Therefore, the Legislature declares that in order to
assist in ensuring that quality care is provided to patients in
hospitals there should be at least one licensed registered
professional nurse on each hospital board of directors. The
Legislature further declares that hospitals receive such major
revenue from public sources and are so crucial in health planning
and development that it is necessary to require nurse
representatives on their boards of directors.
(b) The board of directors of every hospital, whether
not-for-profit or for-profit, and the board of directors of every
corporation that operates a hospital, shall have at least one
member who is a licensed registered professional nurse, with full
voting privileges. Notwithstanding any provision in article one,
chapter thirty-one of this code to the contrary, or the hospital's
or corporation's articles of incorporation, bylaws or other similar
document, the nurse member shall be selected consistent with this
subsection. The nurse member shall be selected from a list of three eligible nurses furnished by the West Virginia nurses
association. To be eligible, a nurse:
(1) Must be a licensed registered professional nurse, under
the provisions of article seven, chapter thirty of this code;
(2) May not be an employee of a hospital that the specific
board of directors or local governing body of the hospital has
under its direct or indirect supervision; and
(3) Must be a licensed registered professional nurse who
regularly provides clinical services directly to patients.
(c) The provisions of this section may be enforced by the
commissioner of the bureau for public health, or by any citizen of
the county where the offending hospital is located, by the filing
of a civil action in the circuit court of the county.
(d) This section becomes effective on the first day of July,
two thousand three.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require nurse
representation on hospital boards of directors.
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.