Cmte Sub for House Bill No.  379

BY: Representative Fredericks

     AMEND by inserting the following section after line 75 and renumbering the succeeding section:

     "SECTION 2.  Section 37-143-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-143-9.  There is created a program for advanced study in nursing.  Scholarships are established and shall be allocated to students who:  (a) have graduated from an accredited high school and from a school of nursing and are licensed registered nurses in Mississippi; and (b) are approved by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning; and (c) enter into contract with the board of trustees and its successors in office, obligating themselves to pursue to completion the course of study agreed upon, and immediately following the completion of such work, to spend a period of time, equal to the period of study provided under the scholarship, in teaching nursing at any accredited school of nursing in Mississippi, approved by the board of trustees, or in performing other work in the interest of public health in the state, to be approved by the board of trustees.  Such period of service, after completion of study under a scholarship, shall in no event be less than one (1) year.  However, any student who pursues an advanced doctorate degree after completing a masters degree under a scholarship program pursuant to this section, or any other program administered by the board of trustees, shall not be required to begin teaching or other service as a pay-back condition until the student has completed the advanced doctorate degree, at the option of the student.

     In addition to a scholarship, any such student may be allocated a loan not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) per month for each month of full-time study in a graduate nursing program.  The repayment of the principal and interest of such loans shall be eligible for deferment during attendance as a full-time student in an approved program for advanced study in an accredited school of nursing.  For any student who receives this loan, the student's contract with the board of trustees shall obligate the student, immediately following completion of the course of study, to repay the loan by teaching nursing for not less than two (2) years at any accredited school of nursing in Mississippi approved by the board of trustees.  Such teaching service shall convert the loan to an interest-free scholarship, and discharge the same, on the basis of two (2) years of service for one-year's loan amount, or the appropriate proportion of the total outstanding balance of principal and interest, all as established by rule and regulation of the board of trustees.  Any such student who fails to complete all of the teaching service obligation shall be liable to the board of trustees for the remaining balance of the principal and interest that remains undischarged.

     The board of trustees shall establish such rules and regulations as it deems necessary and proper to carry out the purposes and intent of this section."

     AMEND FURTHER the title by inserting the following language after the semicolon on line 4:  "TO AMEND SECTION 37-143-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE ADVANCED DEGREE STUDENTS TO PURSUE DOCTORAL DEGREES WITHOUT PAYBACK;"