The West Virginia Center for Nursing shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) Establish a statewide strategic plan to address the nursing shortage in West Virginia;
(2) Establish and maintain a database of statistical information regarding nursing supply, demand and turnover rates in West Virginia and future projections.
(A) The Center will be responsible for collecting data from employers and nurses (LPN, RN, APN) on at least an annual basis. The Center shall collaborate with employers and other state agencies to develop the best method for data collection.
(B) The data shall include vacancy rates, annual turnover rate and information about hard to fill vacancies for all levels of nurses.
(C) As used in this article the term:
(i) "Vacancy rate" shall mean the number of vacant budgeted nursing positions divided by the total number of budgeted nursing positions at a point in time;
(ii) "Annual turnover rate" shall mean the number of nurses who leave an organization in a year divided by the average number of nurses employed in that year;
(iii) "Hard to fill vacancy" shall mean recruitment difficulties experienced, due to a number of reasons including, but not limited to, lack of applicants, applicants that lack the proper qualifications, competition, and undesirable hours.
(D) Employers of nurses who are surveyed shall be required to provide data annually by the deadline established by the Center.
(E) Data shall be reported by the center in aggregate form by workforce region.
(F) Data shall be used by the Center to strategically plan for recruitment and retention initiatives by region.
(G) Data received under this section that contains information identifying specific patients or health care facilities is confidential, is not subject to disclosure and may not be released unless all identifying information is removed.
(3) Coordinate communication between the organizations that represent nurses, health care providers, businesses, consumers, legislators and educators;
(4) Enhance and promote recruitment and retention of nurses by creating reward, recognition and renewal programs;
(5) Promote media and positive image building efforts for nursing, including establishing a statewide media campaign to recruit students of all ages and backgrounds to the various nursing programs throughout West Virginia;
(6) Promote nursing careers through educational and scholarship programs, programs directed at nontraditional students and other workforce initiatives;
(7) Explore solutions to improve working environments for nurses to foster recruitment and retention;
(8) Explore and establish scholarship programs designed to benefit nurses who remain in West Virginia after graduation and work in hospitals and other health care institutions;
(9) Establish grants and other programs to provide financial incentives for employers to encourage and assist with nursing education, internships and residency programs;
(10) Develop incentive and training programs for long-term care facilities and other health care institutions to use self-assessment tools documented to correlate with nurse retention, such as the magnet hospital program;
(11) Explore and evaluate the use of year-round day, evening and weekend nursing training and education programs;
(12) Establish a statewide hotline and website for information about the Center and its mission and nursing careers and educational opportunities in West Virginia;
(13) Evaluate capacity for expansion of nursing programs, including the availability of faculty, clinical laboratories, computers and software, library holdings and supplies;
(14) Oversee development and implementation of education and matriculation programs for health care providers covering certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, registered professional nurses, advanced nurse practitioners and other advanced degrees;
(15) Seek to improve the compensation of all nurses, including nursing educators; and
(16) Perform such other activities as needed to alleviate the nursing shortage in West Virginia.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.