STATE LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY ACTIVITY UPDATE – November 1, 2012

The Texas Board of Nursing has adopted amendments to its rules concerning education requirements for vocational nurses. Thechanges include: 1) requiring that a program approved to prepare registerednurses cannot be less than two academic years or more than four calendar years;2) requiring that a person may not be certified as a graduate of any school ofnursing or educational program unless the person has completed the requirementsof the prescribed course of study, including clinical practice; and 3)requiring a school of nursing or educational program that fails to meet ormaintain an acceptable pass rate on applicable licensing examinations to besubject to review by the Board. This rule was finalized and made effective onOctober 21.

In Utah, the Department of Commerce proposed amendments to the state's Postsecondary Proprietary School Act Rules as the result of 2011passage of SB210. Specifically, the following rule sectionsare updated: 1) Rules Relating to Institutions Exempt Under Section 13-34-105;2) Rules Relating to the Registration Statement Required under Section 13-34-106; 3) Rules Relating to Accredited Institutions Under Section 13-34-107.5; 4)Rules Relating to Fair and Ethical Practices Set Forth in Section 13-34-108;and 5) Rules Relating to Discontinuance of Operations Pursuant to Section13-34- 109. Written comments on this rule are due on or before November 14.

Finally, Virginia's State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV)proposed amendments (see page70) to its regulations governing private andout-of-state postsecondary institutions. These amendments would enhanceconsumer protection for students attending certified schools, and clarifycertain expectations for schools that had been previously unwritten, includingequipment and facility requirements, actions that may result in the suspensionor revocation of a school's certificate to operate, and standards regardingadministrator and faculty requirements.

According to the VirginiaRegister of Regulations, "the proposed changes will also introduce apresumption of compliance if the standard of the accrediting agency is met.Some of the standards such as refund policies established in these regulationsmay be different than the standards established in other states. SCHEV believesthat standards varying from state to state increase the burden on schoolsoperating in multiple states. To simplify compliance with the regulations, theproposed changes will presume that a school is in compliance with these regulationsas long as the standard of the accrediting agency is met."  

Additionally, the proposed SCHEV regulation revises various fees. Comments onthe proposed regulation will be accepted until December 10.

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PSCUs open doors to many of the 13 million unemployed and 90 million undereducated Americans by providing a skills-based education. To remain competitive over the next decade, we must identify between 8 and 23 million new workers with postsecondary skills. PSCUs are a necessary part of that solution, having produced over 800,000 degrees last year alone.