April 10, 2014
House Bill 1059 by Representative Cary Pigman (R-Sebring) passed by unanimous vote in the Education Committee following the adoption of an amendment to align the languge with the Senate bill. The bill addresses a negative student outcome trend for declining statewide nursing license examination pass rates. The bill would require all professional nursing programs - those with bachelor's degree or associate degree level nursing graduates who are eligible to take the registered nurse license examination - to be accredited within five years by a specialized nursing accrediting agency. The bill would also exempt nurses who are certified in their area of specialty practice from Board of Nursing continuing education requirements. The bill was previously amended by Committee Chair Eric Fresen (R-Miami) requiring nursing program graduates to take the nursing licensure examination within six months following graduation and would allow the Board of Nursing to extend probationary status by one year. The bill will now be placed on the calendar for consideration in the House chamber. The Senate companion - Senate Bill 1036 by Senator Denise Grimsley (R-Sebring) - passed in the Senate chamber and will now be sent to the House for consideration.