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MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2005

Proposed Amendments: N.J.A.C. 13:37-2.3 and 5.5

Authorized By: State Board of Nursing, George Hebert, Executive Director.

Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:11-24.
Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.
Proposal Number: PRN 2005-207.

Submit comments by August 5, 2005 to:

George Hebert, Executive Director

State Board of Nursing

PO Box 45010

Newark, New Jersey 07101

The agency proposal follows:


Pursuant to its rulemaking authority in N.J.S.A. 45:11-24, the New Jersey Board of Nursing (the "Board") proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:37-2.3 and 5.5

N.J.A.C. 13:37-2.3 sets forth application requirements for graduates of foreign nursing programs. The rule requires applicants to submit all the documents required by N.J.A.C. 13:37-2.2(a)1 and 2 and a certificate from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) indicating graduation from a nursing program. The rule also requires registered professional nurse applicants to submit certification from CGFNS and licensed practical nurse applicants to submit a certification from a foreign transcript evaluating service and proof that the applicant has passed the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination. The Board has become aware over the last few years that the licensing procedure under the existing rule has been burdensome for some applicants. It is apparent that the CGFNS certification process is both lengthy and expensive. The Board has reviewed this process and has determined that the CGFNS certification process, which includes taking a basic nursing skills examination, is not necessary in order to prove that an applicant is eligible for licensure in New Jersey. In order to simplify the application process, the Board proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:37-2.3. The amended rule requires that both registered professional nurse and licensed practical nurse applicants submit: a completed application for licensure for graduates of foreign nursing programs, proof that the applicant has passed the TOEFL examination, a transcript review performed by CGFNS and the application fee for graduates of foreign nursing programs from N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.5(a) 2. This new application process should substantially reduce the amount of time it takes for foreign-educated applicants to obtain a New Jersey license.

The Board also proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.5 to set forth a new application fee for applicants who graduated from foreign nursing programs. The new fee is proposed to defray the costs the Board incurs when reviewing and processing applications from foreign applicants.

The Board has determined that the comment period for this proposal shall be 60 days; therefore, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5, this proposal is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement.

Social Impact

The Board believes that the proposed amendments will have a positive impact on the public. The existing application process for graduates of foreign nursing programs at times is confusing to applicants and a lengthy process. By eliminating the requirement that applicants obtain a CGFNS certification, the Board believes that the application process will be made simpler, shorter and less expensive. The proposed amendments will streamline the process by which foreign trained registered nurses obtain licensure by eliminating a test, now seen to be duplicative, without compromising the goal of evaluating applicant preparedness and educational comparability. This may encourage foreign educated nurses to settle and practice nursing in New Jersey.

Economic Impact

The proposed amendments will economically impact applicants for licensure who were educated in foreign countries. The amendments impose a new fee of $100.00 on such applicants, which is higher than the current application fee of $75.00 for graduates of nursing programs in the United States. This higher fee is imposed to cover the cost of contacting CGFNS, recruiting agencies to ensure that documents are received by the Board directly from the administering body and of the additional review necessary for such applications. This cost will be offset because the Board will no longer require that applicants obtain a CGFNS certification. Obtaining this certification is expensive and deleting the requirement will positively impact individuals who are applying for licensure.

Federal Standards Statement

A Federal standards analysis is not required because there are no Federal laws or standards applicable to the proposed amendments.

Jobs Impact

The Board does not believe that the proposed amendments will affect the number of available jobs in New Jersey. However, it does believe that, by simplifying the application process for individuals educated in a foreign country, the amendments may increase the number of nurses licensed and able to work in the State.

Agriculture Industry Impact

The Board does not believe that the proposed amendments will have any impact on the agriculture industry of this State.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (the Act), N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., requires the Board to give a description of the types and an estimate of the number of small businesses to which the proposal will apply. A regulatory flexibility analysis is not required because the proposed amendments applies to applicants for licensure who cannot be considered "small businesses" because they do not yet have a license to practice nursing.

Smart Growth Impact

The Board does not anticipate that the proposed amendments will have any impact on implementation of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan, otherwise known as the State Plan.

Full text of the proposal follows :

<< NJ ADC 13:37-2.3 >>

13:37-2.3 Application requirements; graduates of foreign nursing programs

(a) An applicant for licensure who graduated from a foreign nursing program shall submit:

1. <<-The documents required in N.J.A.C. 13:37-2.2(a)1 and 2->> <<+A completed licensure application for graduates of foreign nursing program+>>, which contains information concerning the applicant's educational and experiential background;

2. <<-For registered professional nurse applicants, a valid certification->> <<+A transcript review performed+>> by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS);

3. <<-For licensed practical nurse applicants, a certification by a foreign transcript evaluating service and a passing score on->> <<+Proof that the applicant has achieved a passing score on+>> the Test of English as a Foreign Language exam, TOEFL; and

4. <<-A CGFNS certificate indicating graduation from a nursing program or licensure as a registered nurse in the foreign country->> <<+The application fee set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.5(a)2+>>.

(b)-(c) (No change.)

<< NJ ADC 13:37-5.5 >>

13:37-5.5 Fee schedule

(a) The following fees shall be charged by the Board in connection with licensure of professional and practical nurses:

1. (No change.)

2. Application fee for graduates of foreign nursing programs ...................................................... $100.00

Recodify existing 2.-11. as <<+3.-12.+>> (No change in text.)

(b)-(f) (No change.)

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