HB2738 S H&HR AM #1
The Committee on Health and Human Resources moved to amend the bill by striking out everything after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
That §30-7B-8 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be repealed; that said code be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §18C-3-4; and that §30-7B-2, §30-7B-3, §30-7B-4, §30-7B-5, §30-7B-6, §30-7B-7 and §30-7B-9 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 shall 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 for in this section:
(A) An award of at least $5000 to a student who has completed half of an approved nursing program in the state. The student shall be required to practice in West Virginia for at least one year;
(B) An award of at least $10,000 for a student in an approved RN nursing program located in West Virginia. A recipient shall be required to teach in West Virginia for at least two years.
(C) An award of at least $15,000 to a 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) 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 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 items:
(1) Eligibility and selection criteria for participation in the aid program;
(2) Terms of a student agreement which the student must execute as a condition of receiving aid;
(3) Reimbursement and repayment by students who receive aid but fail to fulfill the post-graduation practice requirements;
(4) Forgiveness options for death or disability of a student who received aid under this section; and
(5) An appeal process for students who were denied participation or have been ordered to pay reimbursement and interest for failure to meet the conditions of receiving aid.
(f) The commission shall report by the first of December 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 following words have the meanings ascribed to them unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
(a) ”Annual turnover rate” means the number of nurses who leave an organization in a year divided by the average number of nurses employed in that year;
(b) “Board” means the Board of Directors for the West Virginia Center for Nursing.
(c) “Center” means the West Virginia Center for Nursing.
(d) “Direct patient care” means health care that provides for the physical, emotional, diagnostic or rehabilitative needs of a patient, or health care that involves examination, treatment or preparation for diagnostic tests or procedures.
(e) “Hard to fill vacancy” means recruitment difficulties experienced which include, but are not limited to, lack of applicants, applicants who lack the proper qualifications, competition and undesirable hours.
(f) “Vacancy rate” means the number of vacant budgeted nursing positions divided by the total number of budgeted nursing positions at a point in time.
§30-7B-3. 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-4. 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 database of statistical information regarding nursing supply, demand and turnover rates in West Virginia and projections regarding future needs:
(1) The center shall collect data from employers annually and shall collaborate with employers and other state agencies to develop the best method for data collection.
(2) The data shall include vacancy rates, annual turnover rate and statistics regarding hard to fill vacancies for all levels of nurses.
(3) Employers of nurses who are surveyed shall provide data by the deadline established by the center;
(4) The center shall report data in aggregate form by workforce region and shall use the data to plan strategically for recruitment and retention initiatives by region.
(5) 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.
(c) Establish and maintain a website to disseminate information about the center, its mission, educational opportunities and financial aid available in West Virginia;
(d) Evaluate capacity for expansion of nursing programs, including the availability of faculty, clinical laboratories, computers and software, library holdings and supplies; and
(e) Perform other activities as needed to implement the provisions of this article.
§30-7B-5. 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 lay citizen members as required by §30-1-4a;
(10) Two ex officio, non-voting 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, the terms of all the members shall be four years, with no member serving more than two consecutive terms.
(c) The board shall elect annually from its voting members a president and a secretary as required by §30-1-3. Eight members of the board shall constitute a quorum.
(d) In the case of a vacancy, the Governor has thirty days to fill the vacancy or the West Virginia Nurses Association shall appoint a member to serve on the board.
(e) The members of the board 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 compensation and expense reimbursement in accordance with article one of chapter thirty of this code and section seven of this article.
§30-7B-6. Powers and duties of the board of directors.
(a) The board has the following powers and duties:
(1) Determine operational policy; 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-7. 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 of each 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 nursing in the state. Additionally, the board shall provide drafts of legislation needed to implement the center’s strategic plan.