How Much Has HB56 Co$t Tax Payer$ & Burdened The Alabama Board Of Nursing?
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Alabama State Senator Paul Bussman, DMD, a Republican from Cullman, is sponsoring SB234 which, among other things, would increase size of the Alabama Board of Nursing (ABN) from 13, to 15 members.
NOTE: Recent news suggests that the Substitute Bill would leave the ABN Board size unchanged at 13.
The ABN oversees 90,660 licensees, including Advanced Practice Nurses such as CRNAs (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists) and Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs), Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs, sometimes also called Licensed Vocational Nurses, LVNs), and Nurse Aides/Assistants.
In stark comparison, the Board of Registered Nursing in the State of California manages 390,000 Registered Nurses exclusively.
California is also a “Walk-Through” state, which means that if an individual, being qualified to become licensed, shows up to the Board to apply in person, has a successful/clear background investigation performed that day, pays the licensing fee to the state that day, they can walk out with a Registered Nurse License in hand that day.
That does not happen in Alabama – and it shows no sign of happening anytime soon, or ever.
For those whom may be unaware, Boards of Nursing are state Regulatory Agencies which regulate the Profession and Practice of Nursing in their respective states. In some states, Alabama being an example, the BONs also regulate LPNs, Nursing Assistants, and other Nursing-related occupations. Again, California does not do that. The California BRN (Board of Registered Nursing) regulates Registered Nurses exclusively.
For comparison, here’s a peek at what some neighboring states’ BONs look like:
TN BON – 11 members, 130,275 APN, RN, LPN licensees
GA BON – 13 members, 164,511 licensees (as of 4/21/15)
FL BON – 13 members, 274,737 RN, LPN licensees
TX BON – 13 members, 379,247 RN, LPN licensees
Senator Bussman’s bill is disturbing for the principle reason that it is highly suggestive of inefficiency within the agency, and would increase the size of an agency which – comparatively speaking – should have little reason, rationale, or justification for such a large board, and should therefore certainly avoid expansion.
Here’s the official state site for his Senate Bill 234:
If you prefer, you may download it here:
AL Bussman SB234
If there is any legislative matter which Senator Bussman should consider authoring for the ABN, or for any other state agency, it is to rescind the burdensome requirement placed upon it, and other state agencies (including county and city municipalities), by HB56, known as “Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act,” which became codified in the Code of Alabama, Section 31-13-1, et seq, June 2011.
The reason why rescinding HB56 would benefit the ABN, and every other state agency, city and county municipality, is because it placed a significant burden upon every governmental agency within the state – state, county, city and town – to collect, store, and report upon the authenticity of an individual’s citizenship. HB56 remains a classic unfunded mandate, which, even as it has largely been struck down by Federal Courts, remains effectively in place for every governmental agency within the state.
In fact, HB56 is such a phenomenal burden to the ABN that N. Genell Lee, MSN, RN, JD, Executive Officer of the Alabama Board of Nursing, had to hire additional personnel to comply with the law which required them (and every other governmental agency within the state) to generate notifications to licensees, physically collect, manage and store the paperwork/data/information required by the same, while simultaneously attempting to validate & verify authenticity of the submissions, and then to annually report upon it all to the Governor.
Here’s a screenshot of the ABN’s website dedicated to HB56, which shows in part the burden HB56 placed upon it.
Below is a screenshot of ONE of the EIGHT forms which HB56 burdens the ABN to prepare, collect, manage, and annually report upon.
For a quick example of the burden (which translates into co$t$) placed upon the state by HB56, see this Google search for Code of Alabama, Section 31-13-1, and see how many agencies are affected and have changed their operations to fulfill the requirements of the HB56 unfunded mandate.