As used in this article the term:
(a) The practice of "advanced practice registered nurse" is a registered nurse who has acquired advanced clinical knowledge and skills preparing him or her to provide direct and indirect care to patients, who has completed a board-approved graduate-level education program and who has passed a board-approved national certification examination. An advanced practice registered nurse shall meet all the requirements set forth by the board by rule for an advance practice registered nurse which shall include, at a minimum, a valid license to practice as a certified registered nurse anesthetist, a certified nurse midwife, a clinical nurse specialist or a certified nurse practitioner.
(b) "Board" means the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses;
(c) The practice of "registered professional nursing" means the performance for compensation of any service requiring substantial specialized judgment and skill based on knowledge and application of principles of nursing derived from the biological, physical and social sciences, such as responsible supervision of a patient requiring skill in observation of symptoms and reactions and the accurate recording of the facts, or the supervision and teaching of other persons with respect to such principles of nursing, or in the administration of medications and treatments as prescribed by a licensed physician or a licensed dentist, or the application of such nursing procedures as involve understanding of cause and effect in order to safeguard life and health of a patient and others;
(d) "Temporary permit" means a permit authorizing the holder to practice registered professional nursing in this state until such permit is no longer effective or the holder is granted a license by the West Virginia State Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses.
An applicant for licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse as set forth in section one of this article who completed an advanced nursing education program and was recognized, licensed or certified in an advanced practice or a certified nurse midwife by West Virginia or another state before December 31, 2012, may apply for and receive an advanced practice registered nurse license if that applicant meets the requirements that were in place in West Virginia at the time the applicant qualified for initial advanced practice licensure.
In order to safeguard life and health, any person practicing or offering to practice registered professional nursing in this state for compensation shall hereafter be required to submit evidence that he or she is qualified so to practice, and shall be licensed as hereinafter provided. After the thirtieth day of June, one thousand nine hundred sixty-five, it shall be unlawful for any person not licensed under the provisions of this article to practice or to offer to practice registered professional nursing in this state, or to use any title, sign, card or device to indicate that such person is a registered professional nurse:
Provided, That any professional nurse holding an active, unencumbered license to practice in another state, who accompanies a patient to whom he or she administers nursing care while such patient is in transit or being transported into, out of, or through this state, may practice without a license issued under this article with the following limitations: (a) Such nurse may only administer nursing care to the patient whom they are accompanying in this state; and (b) under no circumstances is any such nurse authorized to practice nursing in this state for longer than forty-eight hours within any three-month period; and (c) under no circumstances shall any such nurse hold him or herself out as a registered professional nurse licensed in this state. Such forty-eight hour period shall commence and run from the time such nurse first enters the borders of this state in the company of his or her patient and therefrom run continuously, whether or not such nurse dispenses nursing care, until such forty-eight hour period has elapsed.
Appointments hereunder shall be made by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, from lists submitted to the governor by the West Virginia nurses' association. Such lists shall contain the names of at least three persons eligible for membership for each membership or vacancy to be filled and shall be submitted to the governor on or before the first day of June of each year and at such other time or times as a vacancy on the board shall exist. Appointments under the provisions of this article shall be for a term of five years each or for the unexpired term, if any, of the present members. Any member may be eligible for reappointment, but no member shall serve longer than two successive terms. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as is provided for appointment in the first instance. The governor may remove any member for neglect of duty, for incompetence, or for unprofessional or dishonorable conduct.
Each member of the board hereafter appointed shall (a) be a citizen of the United States and a resident of this state, (b) be a graduate from an accredited educational program in this or any other state for the preparation of practitioners of registered professional nursing, or be a graduate from an accredited college or university with a major in the field of nursing, (c) be a graduate from an accredited college or university, (d) be a registered professional nurse licensed in this state or eligible for licensure as such, (e) have had at least five years of experience in teaching in an educational program for the preparation of practitioners of registered professional nursing, or in a combination of such teaching and either nursing service administration or nursing education administration, and (f) have been actually engaged in registered professional nursing for at least three within the past five years preceding his or her appointment or reappointment.
Each member of the board shall receive fifty dollars for each day actually spent in attending meetings of the board, or of its committees, and shall also be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses: Provided, That the per diem increased by this amendment shall be effective upon passage of this article.
(a) Adopt and, from time to time, amend such rules and regulations, not inconsistent with this article, as may be necessary to enable it to carry into effect the provisions of this article;
(b) Prescribe standards for educational programs preparing persons for licensure to practice registered professional nursing under this article;
(c) Provide for surveys of such educational programs at such time as it may deem necessary;
(d) Accredit such educational programs for the preparation of practitioners of registered professional nursing as shall meet the requirements of this article and of the board;
(e) Deny or withdraw accreditation of educational programs for failure to meet or maintain prescribed standards required by this article and by the board;
(f) Examine, license and renew the licenses of duly qualified applicants;
(g) Conduct hearings upon charges calling for discipline of a licensee or revocation or suspension of a license;
(h) Keep a record of all proceedings of the board;
(i) Make a biennial report to the governor;
(j) Appoint and employ a qualified person, who shall not be a member of the board, to serve as executive secretary to the board;
(k) Define the duties and fix the compensation for the executive secretary; and
(l) Employ such other persons as may be necessary to carry on the work of the board.
The executive secretary shall possess all of the qualifications prescribed in section three for members of the board, except that he or she shall (a) have had at least eight years of experience in the practice of registered professional nursing since graduation from a college or university, at least five of which shall have been devoted to the teaching in or to the administration of an educational program for the preparation of practitioners of registered nursing, or to a combination of such teaching and administration, and (b) shall have been actively engaged in the practice of registered professional nursing for at least five years preceding his or her appointment by the board.
All fees and other moneys collected by the board pursuant to the provisions of this article shall be kept in a separate fund and expended solely for the purpose of this article. No part of this special fund shall revert to the general funds of this state. The compensation provided by this article and all expenses incurred under this article shall be paid from this special fund. No compensation or expense incurred under this article shall be a charge against the general funds of this state.
Instruction and practice may be secured in one or more institutions approved by the board. Such institution or institutions with which the school is to be affiliated shall be surveyed by the executive secretary of the board, who shall submit a written report of the survey to the board. If, in the opinion of the board, the requirements for an accredited school to prepare practitioners of registered professional nursing are met, it shall approve the school as an accredited school. From time to time as deemed necessary by the board, it shall be the duty of the board, through its executive secretary, to survey all such schools. Written reports of such surveys shall be submitted to the board. If the board determines that any such accredited school is not maintaining the standards required by this article and by the board, notice thereof in writing specifying the defect or defects shall be immediately given to the school. A school which fails to correct these conditions to the satisfaction of the board within a reasonable time shall be removed from the list of accredited schools.
To obtain a license to practice registered professional nursing, an applicant for such license shall submit to the board written evidence, verified by oath, that he or she (a) is of good moral character; (b) has completed an approved four-year high school course of study or the equivalent thereof, as determined by the appropriate educational agency; and (c) has completed an accredited program of registered professional nursing education and holds a diploma of a school accredited by the board.
The applicant shall also be required to pass a written examination in such subjects as the board may determine. Each written examination may be supplemented by an oral examination. Upon successfully passing such examination or examinations, the board shall issue to the applicant a license to practice registered professional nursing. The board shall determine the times and places for examinations. In the event an applicant shall have failed to pass examinations on two occasions, the applicant shall, in addition to the other requirements of this section, present to the board such other evidence of his or her qualifications as the board may prescribe.
The board may, upon application, issue a license to practice registered professional nursing by endorsement to an applicant who has been duly licensed as a registered professional nurse under the laws of another state, territory or foreign country if in the opinion of the board the applicant meets the qualifications required of registered professional nurses at the time of graduation.
The board may, upon application and proper identification determined by the board, issue a temporary permit to practice registered professional nursing by endorsement to an applicant who has been duly licensed as a registered professional nurse under the laws of another state, territory or foreign country. Such temporary permit authorizes the holder to practice registered professional nursing in this state while the temporary permit is effective. A temporary permit shall be effective for ninety days, unless the board revokes such permit prior to its expiration, and such permit may not be renewed. Any person applying for a temporary license under the provisions of this paragraph shall, with his or her application, pay to the board a nonrefundable fee of ten dollars.
Any person holding a valid license designated as a "waiver license" may submit an application to the board for a license containing no reference to the fact that such person has theretofore been issued such "waiver license." The provisions of this section relating to examination and fees and the provisions of all other sections of this article shall apply to any application submitted to the board pursuant to the provisions of this paragraph.
Any person applying for a license to practice registered professional nursing under the provisions of this article shall, with his or her application, pay to the board a fee of forty dollars: Provided, That the fee to be paid for the year commencing the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred eighty-two, shall be seventy dollars: Provided, however, That the board in its discretion may, by rule or regulation, decrease either or both said license fees. In the event it shall be necessary for the board to reexamine any applicant for a license, an additional fee shall be paid to the board by the applicant for reexamination: Provided further, That the total of such additional fees shall in no case exceed one hundred dollars for any one examination.
Any person holding a license heretofore issued by the West Virginia state board of examiners for registered nurses and which license is valid on the date this article becomes effective shall be deemed to be duly licensed under the provisions of this article for the remainder of the period of any such license heretofore issued. Any such license heretofore issued shall also, for all purposes, be deemed to be a license issued under this article and to be subject to the provisions hereof.
The board shall, upon receipt of a duly executed application for licensure and of the accompanying fee of seventy dollars, issue a temporary permit to practice registered professional nursing to any applicant who has received a diploma from a school of nursing approved by the board pursuant to this article after the date the board last scheduled a written examination for persons eligible for licensure: Provided, That no such temporary permit shall be renewable nor shall any such permit be valid for any purpose subsequent to the date the board has announced the results of the first written examination given by the board following the issuance of such permit.
(1) The registered professional nurse's practice under the special volunteer registered professional nurse license will be exclusively devoted to providing nursing care to needy and indigent persons in West Virginia;
(2) The registered professional nurse will not receive any payment or compensation, either direct or indirect, or have the expectation of any payment or compensation, for any nursing services rendered under the special volunteer registered professional nurse license;
(3) The registered professional nurse will supply any supporting documentation that the board may reasonably require; and (4) The registered professional nurse agrees to continue to participate in continuing education as required by the board for the special volunteer registered professional nurse license.
(b) Any registered professional nurse who renders nursing service to indigent and needy patients of a clinic organized, in whole or in part, for the delivery of health care services without charge under a special volunteer registered professional nurse license authorized under subsection (a) of this section without payment or compensation or the expectation or promise of payment or compensation is immune from liability for any civil action arising out of any act or omission resulting from the rendering of the nursing service at the clinic unless the act or omission was the result of the registered professional nurse's gross negligence or willful misconduct. In order for the immunity under this subsection to apply, there must be a written agreement between the registered professional nurse and the clinic pursuant to which the registered professional nurse will provide voluntary uncompensated nursing services under the control of the clinic to patients of the clinic before the rendering of any services by the registered professional nurse at the clinic: Provided, That any clinic entering into such written agreement is required to maintain liability coverage of not less than one million dollars per occurrence.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, a clinic organized, in whole or in part, for the delivery of health care services without charge is not relieved from imputed liability for the negligent acts of a registered professional nurse rendering voluntary nursing services at or for the clinic under a special volunteer registered professional nurse license authorized under subsection (a) of this section.
(d) For purposes of this section, "otherwise eligible for licensure" means the satisfaction of all the requirements for licensure as listed in section six of this article and in the legislative rules promulgated thereunder, except the fee requirements of that section and of the legislative rules promulgated by the board relating to fees.
(e) Nothing in this section may be construed as requiring the board to issue a special volunteer registered professional nurse license to any registered professional nurse whose license is or has been subject to any disciplinary action or to any registered professional nurse who has surrendered his or her license or caused such license to lapse, expire and become invalid in lieu of having a complaint initiated or other action taken against his or her license, or who has elected to place a registered professional nurse license in inactive status in lieu of having a complaint initiated or other action taken against his or her license, or who has been denied a registered professional nurse license.
(f) Any policy or contract of liability insurance providing coverage for liability sold, issued or delivered in this state to any registered professional nurse covered under the provisions of this article shall be read so as to contain a provision or endorsement whereby the company issuing such policy waives or agrees not to assert as a defense on behalf of the policyholder or any beneficiary thereof, to any claim covered by the terms of such policy within the policy limits, the immunity from liability of the insured by reason of the care and treatment of needy and indigent patients by a registered professional nurse who holds a special volunteer registered professional nurse license.
All other provisions of this article shall be applicable to any application for or license issued pursuant to this section.
The license of every person licensed and registered under the provisions of this article shall be annually renewed except as hereinafter provided. At such time or times as the board in its discretion may determine, the board shall mail a renewal application to every person whose license was renewed during the previous year and every such person shall fill in such application blank and return it to the board with a renewal fee of twenty-five dollars within thirty days after receipt of said renewal application: Provided, That the board in its discretion by rule may increase or decrease the renewal fee. Upon receipt of the application and fee, the board shall verify the accuracy of the application and, if the same be accurate, issue to the applicant a certificate of renewal for the current year. Such certificate of renewal shall entitle the holder thereof to practice registered professional nursing for the period stated on the certificate of renewal. Any licensee who allows his or her license to lapse by failing to renew the license as provided above may be reinstated by the board on satisfactory explanation for such failure to renew his or her license and on payment to the board of the renewal fee hereinabove provided and a reinstatement fee of fifty dollars. Any person practicing registered professional nursing during the time his or her license has lapsed shall be considered an illegal practitioner and shall be subject to the penalties provided for violation of this article. A person licensed under the provisions of this article desiring to retire from practice temporarily shall send a written notice of such desire to the board. Upon receipt of such notice the board shall place the name of such person upon the inactive list. While remaining on this list the person shall not be subject to the payment of any renewal fees and shall not practice registered professional nursing in this state. When the person desires to resume active practice, application for renewal of license and payment of the renewal fee for the current year shall be made to the board.
(b) The board shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to establish the supplemental licensure fee.
(c) The board may promulgate emergency rules pursuant to the provisions of section fifteen, article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code for the initial fee assessment.
(a) Is or was guilty of fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license to practice registered professional nursing; or
(b) Has been convicted of a felony; or
(c) Is unfit or incompetent by reason of negligence, habits or other causes; or
(d) Is habitually intemperate or is addicted to the use of habit-forming drugs; or
(e) Is mentally incompetent; or
(f) Is guilty of conduct derogatory to the morals or standing of the profession of registered nursing; or
(g) Is practicing or attempting to practice registered professional nursing without a license or reregistration; or
(h) Has wilfully or repeatedly violated any of the provisions of this article.
(a) In order to encourage voluntary participation in monitored alcohol, chemical dependency or major mental illness programs and in recognition of the fact that major mental illness, alcoholism and chemical dependency are illnesses, any person who holds a license to practice registered nursing in this state or who is applying for a license to practice registered nursing in this state may enter into a voluntary agreement with a nurse health program as defined in section one, article seven-e of this chapter. The agreement between the licensee or applicant and the nurse health program shall include a jointly agreed upon treatment program and mandatory conditions and procedures to monitor compliance with the program of recovery.
(b) Any voluntary agreement entered into pursuant to this section shall not be considered a disciplinary action or order by the board, shall not be disclosed to the board and shall not be public information if:
(1) Such voluntary agreement is the result of the licensee or applicant self enrolling or voluntarily participating in the board- designated nurse health program;
(2) The board has not received nor filed any written complaints regarding said licensee or applicant relating to an alcohol, chemical dependency or major mental illness affecting the care and treatment of patients; and
(3) The licensee or applicant is in compliance with the voluntary treatment program and the conditions and procedures to monitor compliance.
(c) Pursuant to this section, if any licensee or applicant enters into a voluntary agreement with a nurse health program as defined in section one, article seven-e of this chapter, and then fails to comply with or fulfill the terms of said agreement, the nurse health program shall report the noncompliance to the board within twenty-four hours. The board may initiate disciplinary proceedings pursuant to section eleven of this article or may permit continued participation in the nurse health program or both.
(d) If the board has not instituted any disciplinary proceeding as provided for in this article, any information received, maintained or developed by the board relating to the alcohol or chemical dependency impairment of any licensee or applicant and any voluntary agreement made pursuant to this section shall be confidential and not available for public information, discovery or court subpoena, nor for introduction into evidence in any medical professional liability action or other action for damages arising out of the provision of or failure to provide health care services.
(e) Notwithstanding any of the foregoing provisions, the board may cooperate with and provide documentation of any voluntary agreement entered into pursuant to this section to licensing boards in other jurisdictions of which the board has become aware and may be appropriate.
(a) The furnishing of nursing assistance in an emergency; or
(b) The practice of nursing incidental to a program of study by students enrolled in a nursing education program accredited by the board; or
(c) The practice of any legally qualified nurse of another state who is employed by the United States or any bureau, division or agency thereof, while in the discharge of his or her official duties.
(a) Sell or fraudulently obtain or furnish any nursing diploma, license or record or aid or abet therein; or
(b) Practice registered professional nursing under cover of any diploma, license or record illegally or fraudulently obtained or signed or issued or under fraudulent representation; or
(c) Practice registered professional nursing unless duly licensed to do so under the provisions of this article; or
(d) Use in connection with his or her name any designation tending to imply that he or she is licensed to practice registered professional nursing unless duly licensed so to practice under the provisions of this article; or
(e) Practice registered professional nursing during the time his or her license issued under the provisions of this article shall be suspended or revoked; or
(f) Conduct a nursing education program for the preparation of registered professional nursing practitioners unless such program has been accredited by the board; or
(g) Otherwise violate any provisions of this article.
Upon conviction, each such misdemeanor shall be punishable by a fine of not less than twenty-five nor more than two hundred fifty dollars.
The remedy provided in this section shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, all other penalties and remedies provided in this article.
(a) The board may, in its discretion, authorize an advanced practice registered nurse to prescribe prescription drugs in a collaborative relationship with a physician licensed to practice in West Virginia and in accordance with applicable state and federal laws. An authorized advanced practice registered nurse may write or sign prescriptions or transmit prescriptions verbally or by other means of communication.
(b) For purposes of this section an agreement to a collaborative relationship for prescriptive practice between a physician and an advanced practice registered nurse shall be set forth in writing. Verification of the agreement shall be filed with the board by the advanced practice registered nurse. The board shall forward a copy of the verification to the Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine. Collaborative agreements shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) Mutually agreed upon written guidelines or protocols for prescriptive authority as it applies to the advanced practice registered nurse's clinical practice;
(2) Statements describing the individual and shared responsibilities of the advanced practice registered nurse and the physician pursuant to the collaborative agreement between them;
(3) Periodic and joint evaluation of prescriptive practice; and
(4) Periodic and joint review and updating of the written guidelines or protocols.
(c) The board shall promulgate legislative rules in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code governing the eligibility and extent to which an advanced practice registered nurse may prescribe drugs. Such rules shall provide, at a minimum, a state formulary classifying those categories of drugs which shall not be prescribed by advanced practice registered nurse including, but not limited to, Schedules I and II of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, antineoplastics, radiopharmaceuticals and general anesthetics. Drugs listed under Schedule III shall be limited to a seventy-two hour supply without refill. In addition to the above referenced provisions and restrictions and pursuant to a collaborative agreement as set forth in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the rules shall permit the prescribing of an annual supply of any drug, with the exception of controlled substances, which is prescribed for the treatment of a chronic condition, other than chronic pain management. For the purposes of this section, a "chronic condition" is a condition which lasts three months or more, generally cannot be prevented by vaccines, can be controlled but not cured by medication and does not generally disappear. These conditions, with the exception of chronic pain, include, but are not limited to, arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and seizures, and obesity. The prescriber authorized in this section shall note on the prescription the chronic disease being treated.
(d) The board shall consult with other appropriate boards for the development of the formulary.
(e) The board shall transmit to the Board of Pharmacy a list of all advanced practice registered nurse with prescriptive authority. The list shall include:
(1) The name of the authorized advanced practice registered nurse;
(2) The prescriber's identification number assigned by the board; and
An advanced practice registered nurse who applies for authorization to prescribe drugs shall:
(a) Be licensed and certified in West Virginia as an advanced practice registered nurse;
(b) Not be less than eighteen years of age;
(c) Provide the board with evidence of successful completion of forty-five contact hours of education in pharmacology and clinical management of drug therapy under a program approved by the board, fifteen hours of which shall be completed within the two- year period immediately before the date of application;
(d) Provide the board with evidence that he or she is a person of good moral character and not addicted to alcohol or the use of controlled substances; and
(a) Prescriptions authorized by an advanced practice registered nurse must comply with all applicable state and federal laws; must be signed by the prescriber with the initials "A.P.R.N." or the designated certification title of the prescriber; and must include the prescriber's identification number assigned by the board or the prescriber's national provider identifier assigned by the National Provider System pursuant to 45 C. F. R. §162.408.
(b) Prescriptive authorization shall be terminated if the advanced practice registered nurse has:
(1) Not maintained current authorization as an advanced practice registered nurse; or
(2) Prescribed outside the advanced practice registered nurse's scope of practice or has prescribed drugs for other than therapeutic purposes; or
(3) Has not filed verification of a collaborative agreement with the board.
(c) Prescriptive authority for an advanced practice registered nurse must be renewed biennially. Documentation of eight contact hours of pharmacology during the previous two years must be submitted at the time of renewal.
(d) The board shall notify the Board of Pharmacy, the Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine within twenty-four hours after termination of, or change in, an advanced practice registered nurse's prescriptive authority.
(1) Health care services are becoming complex and it is increasingly difficult for patients to access integrated services;
(2) Quality of patient care is jeopardized because of insufficient nursing staff;
(3) To ensure the adequate protection of patients in acute care settings, it is essential that qualified registered nurses and other licensed nurses be accessible and available to meet the needs of patients;
(4) In West Virginia, and across the country, concerns about an increasing nursing shortage continue to grow;
(5) A number of factors contribute to the growing shortages in qualified nursing personnel;
(6) The way care is delivered has changed dramatically over the last decade with more people being treated in outpatient settings, shorter and more intense lengths of stay in acute and long-term care settings, and the development of alternatives to nursing home care;
(7) These changes have led to a number of employment options
becoming available to nurses that did not exist previously, making it difficult for employers of nurses to recruit and retain qualified nursing personnel;
(8) Severe cutbacks in the federal medicare program, state budgetary pressures related to the medicaid program and continued pressure from insurers to reduce their costs and to retrospectively deny payment for services rendered, have: (A) Made it extremely difficult for many providers to keep up with other employers in salaries and benefits and to recruit and retain qualified nursing personnel; and (B) increased stresses in the work environment;
(9) The increasing reliance on temporary employment agencies to meet nursing personnel needs further complicates the situation as continuity of care is disrupted, quality of patient care is jeopardized, and costs pressures are further increased; and
(10) Because of the multifaceted nature of these problems, it is critical that all of the interested and affected parties cooperate and collaborate in the development of solutions.
(b) A nursing shortage study commission shall be created by the West Virginia board of examiners for registered professional nurses. The board shall appoint eleven members to the commission. The board shall appoint:
(1) Two individuals who are on the board of examiners for registered professional nurses, one of which is employed in a school of nursing;
(2) Two individuals that are employed as registered professional nurses in a hospital and who work primarily providing direct patient care;
(3) Two registered professional nurses who work as long-term care nurses, one of whom works in a nursing home and one of whom works for a home health agency, both of whom work primarily providing direct patient care;
(4) One administrator of a hospital in this state;
(5) One doctoral prepared nurse researcher;
(6) One nursing home administrator; and
(7) Two representatives of the public not currently or previously employed in hospital, nursing home or for a related entity.
(c) Members of the commission are not entitled to compensation for services performed as members, but are entitled to reimbursement for all reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred in the performance of their duties. Six of the appointed members is a quorum for the purpose of conducting business. The board shall designate a chair, who is not a public official. The commission shall conduct all meetings in accordance with the open meeting law pursuant to article nine-a, chapter six of this code.
(d) The commission shall:
(1) Study the nursing shortage in West Virginia and ways to alleviate it, including, but not limited to:
(A) Evaluating mechanisms currently available in the state and elsewhere intended to enhance education, recruitment, and retention of nurses in the workforce and to improve quality of care;
(B) Assessing the impact of shortages in nursing personnel on access to, and the delivery of, quality patient care;
(C) Developing recommendations on strategies to reverse the growing shortage of qualified nursing personnel in the state, including:
(i) Determining what changes are needed to existing programs, current scholarship programs and funding mechanisms to better reflect and accommodate the changing health care delivery environment and to improve quality of care to meet the needs of patients;
(ii) Facilitating career advancement within nursing;
(iii) Identifying more accurately specific shortage areas in a more timely manner;
(iv) Attracting middle and high school students into nursing as a career; and
(v) Projecting a more positive and professional image of nursing.
(2) Report to the Legislature by the first day of February, two thousand two, its findings and recommendations on or before the first day of February each year thereafter.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session