2020 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Human Services; Ways and Means
By: Representative Scoggin
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 73-15-29, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE BOARD OF NURSING MAY ASSESS A LICENSEE FOR THOSE REASONABLE COSTS THAT WERE EXPENDED BY THE BOARD IN THE INVESTIGATION AND CONDUCT OF A PROCEEDING FOR LICENSURE REVOCATION, SUSPENSION OR RESTRICTION; TO PROVIDE THAT SUCH COSTS SHALL NOT EXCEED $5,000.00; TO AMEND SECTION 73-15-17, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE BOARD OF NURSING TO COLLECT CERTAIN COSTS AND INSTITUTE AND MAINTAIN PROCEEDINGS IN ITS NAME FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE PAYMENT OF COSTS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 73-15-29, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-15-29. (1) The board shall have power to revoke, suspend or refuse to renew any license issued by the board, or to revoke or suspend any privilege to practice, or to deny an application for a license, or to fine, place on probation and/or discipline a licensee, in any manner specified in this article, upon proof that such person:
(a) Has committed fraud or deceit in securing or attempting to secure such license;
(b) Has been convicted of a felony, or a crime involving moral turpitude or has had accepted by a court a plea of nolo contendere to a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude (a certified copy of the judgment of the court of competent jurisdiction of such conviction or pleas shall be prima facie evidence of such conviction);
(c) Has negligently or willfully acted in a manner inconsistent with the health or safety of the persons under the licensee's care;
(d) Has had a license or privilege to practice as a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse suspended or revoked in any jurisdiction, has voluntarily surrendered such license or privilege to practice in any jurisdiction, has been placed on probation as a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse in any jurisdiction or has been placed under a disciplinary order(s) in any manner as a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse in any jurisdiction, (a certified copy of the order of suspension, revocation, probation or disciplinary action shall be prima facie evidence of such action);
(e) Has negligently or willfully practiced nursing in a manner that fails to meet generally accepted standards of such nursing practice;
(f) Has negligently or willfully violated any order, rule or regulation of the board pertaining to nursing practice or licensure;
(g) Has falsified or in a repeatedly negligent manner made incorrect entries or failed to make essential entries on records;
(h) Is addicted to or dependent on alcohol or other habit-forming drugs or is a habitual user of narcotics, barbiturates, amphetamines, hallucinogens, or other drugs having similar effect, or has misappropriated any medication;
(i) Has a physical, mental or emotional condition that renders the licensee unable to perform nursing services or duties with reasonable skill and safety;
(j) Has engaged in any other conduct, whether of the same or of a different character from that specified in this article, that would constitute a crime as defined in Title 97 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, as now or hereafter amended, and that relates to such person's employment as a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse;
(k) Engages in conduct likely to deceive, defraud or harm the public;
(l) Engages in any unprofessional conduct as identified by the board in its rules;
(m) Has violated any provision of this article; or
(n) Violation(s) of
the provisions of Sections 41-121-1 through 41-121-9 relating to deceptive
advertisement by health care practitioners. This paragraph shall stand
repealed on July 1, * * *
(2) When the board finds any person unqualified because of any of the grounds set forth in subsection (1) of this section, it may enter an order imposing one or more of the following penalties:
(a) Denying application for a license or other authorization to practice nursing or practical nursing;
(b) Administering a reprimand;
(c) Suspending or restricting the license or other authorization to practice as a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse for up to two (2) years without review;
(d) Revoking the license or other authorization to practice nursing or practical nursing;
(e) Requiring the disciplinee to submit to care, counseling or treatment by persons and/or agencies approved or designated by the board as a condition for initial, continued or renewed licensure or other authorization to practice nursing or practical nursing;
(f) Requiring the disciplinee to participate in a program of education prescribed by the board as a condition for initial, continued or renewed licensure or other authorization to practice;
(g) Requiring the
disciplinee to practice under the supervision of a registered nurse for a
specified period of time; * * *
(h) Imposing a fine
not to exceed Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) * * *
(i) Assessing the licensee for those reasonable costs that were expended by the board in the investigation and conduct of a proceeding for licensure revocation, suspension or restriction, including, but not limited to, the cost of process service, court reporters, expert witnesses, investigators and other related expenses; however, such costs assessed under this paragraph (i) shall not exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00).
(3) In addition to the grounds specified in subsection (1) of this section, the board shall be authorized to suspend the license or privilege to practice of any licensee for being out of compliance with an order for support, as defined in Section 93-11-153. The procedure for suspension of a license or privilege to practice for being out of compliance with an order for support, and the procedure for the reissuance or reinstatement of a license or privilege to practice suspended for that purpose, and the payment of any fees for the reissuance or reinstatement of a license or privilege to practice suspended for that purpose, shall be governed by Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be. If there is any conflict between any provision of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163 and any provision of this article, the provisions of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be, shall control.
(4) If the public health, safety or welfare imperatively requires emergency action and the board incorporates a finding to that effect in an order, the board may order summary suspension of a license pending proceedings for revocation or other action. These proceedings shall be promptly instituted and determined by the board.
(5) The board may establish by rule an alternative to discipline program for licensees who have an impairment as a result of substance abuse or a mental health condition, which program shall include at least the following components:
(a) Participation in the program is voluntary with the licensee, and the licensee must enter the program before the board holds a disciplinary action hearing regarding the licensee;
(b) The full cost of participation in the program, including the cost of any care, counseling, treatment and/or education received by the licensee, shall be borne by the licensee;
(c) All of the procedures and records regarding the licensee's participation in the program shall be confidential, shall not be disclosed and shall be exempt from the provisions of the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983; and
(d) A licensee may not participate in the program more often than one (1) time during any period of five (5) years or such longer period as set by the board.
SECTION 2. Section 73-15-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-15-17. The Mississippi Board of Nursing is authorized and empowered to:
(a) Adopt and from time to time revise such rules and regulations consistent with the law as shall be necessary to govern its proceedings and carry into effect the provisions of this article; however, the board shall not adopt any rule or regulation or impose any requirement regarding the licensing or certification of advanced practice registered nurses that conflicts with the prohibitions in Section 73-49-3.
(b) Require the secretary to keep records of all meetings of the board and keep a record of all proceedings, and to prepare a register of registered nurses and a register of licensed practical nurses, all nurses appearing thereon to be duly licensed under this article, and which registers shall be open for public inspection at all reasonable times.
(c) Issue subpoenas, require attendance of witnesses, and administer oaths of persons giving testimony.
(d) Cause the prosecution of all persons violating the provisions of this article, and incur such necessary expenses therefor.
(e) Conduct hearings upon charges calling for discipline of a licensee or revocation of a license or of the privilege to practice.
(f) Present a true and full report to the Governor and the Legislature, together with a statement of receipts and disbursements on or before February 1 of each year.
(g) Maintain an office in the greater Jackson area for the administration of this article.
(h) File an annual list of all certificates of registration issued by the board with the Secretary of State's office for both registered nurses and licensed practical nurses.
(i) File an annual list of all certificates of registration issued by the board to registered nurses, including addresses of the persons with the Mississippi Nurses' Association; and file a similar list of all certificates of registration issued to licensed practical nurses, including addresses of the persons, with the Mississippi Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses and the Mississippi Licensed Practical Nurses Association.
(j) Adopt a seal which shall be in the form of a circle with the image of an eagle in the center, and around the margin the words "Mississippi Board of Nursing," and under the image of the eagle the word "Official." The seal shall be affixed to certificates and warrants issued by the board, and to all records sent up on appeal from its decisions.
(k) Schedule dates and locations for state board examinations for examining qualified applicants for licensure.
(l) Examine, license and renew licenses of duly qualified applicants.
(m) Appoint and employ a qualified person who shall not be a member of the board to serve as executive director, define the duties, fix the compensation, and delegate to him or her those activities that will expedite the functions of the board. The executive director shall meet all the qualifications for board members, and shall in addition:
(i) Have had at least a master's degree in nursing, eight (8) years' experience as a registered nurse, five (5) of which shall be in teaching or in administration, or a combination thereof; and
(ii) Have been actively engaged in nursing for at least five (5) years immediately preceding appointment.
(n) Employ, discharge, define duties, and fix compensation of such other persons as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this article.
(o) Secure the services of research consultants as deemed necessary who shall receive a per diem, travel and other necessary expenses incurred while engaged by the board.
(p) Enter into contracts with any other state or federal agency or with any private person, organization or group capable of contracting, if it finds such action to be in the public interest and in the furtherance of its responsibilities.
(q) Upon reasonable suspicion that a holder of a license issued under this article has violated any statutory ground for denial of licensure as set forth in Section 73-15-29 or is guilty of any offense specified in Section 73-15-33, require the license holder to undergo a fingerprint-based criminal history records check of the Mississippi central criminal database and the Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal history database, in the same manner as required for applicants for licensure under Sections 73-15-19(1) and 73-15-21(1).
(r) Perform the duties prescribed by the Nurse Licensure Compact in Section 73-15-201.
(s) Provide for the collection of costs as provided in Section 73-15-29. The board may institute and maintain proceedings in its name for the enforcement of payment of costs as provided in Section 73-15-29 in the chancery court of the county where the board offices are located. Money collected by the board for reasonable costs as provided in Section 73-15-29 shall be deposited to the credit of the special fund of the board to be used to reimburse the existing current year appropriated budget.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2020.