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VOLUME 46, ISSUE 19
ISSUE DATE: October 6, 2014
RULE PROPOSALS

LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
State Board of Nursing


Reproposed Repeal: N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.6

Responsibilities of Licensure
 
Authorized By: State Board of Nursing, George Hebert, Executive Director.
 
Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:11-23 et seq, specifically 45:11-24.d(19).
 
Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.
 
Proposal Number: PRN 2014-160.
 
Submit written comments by December 5, 2014, to:
 
   George Hebert, Executive Director
   State Board of Nursing
   PO Box 45010
   Newark, NJ 07101
 
or submit electronically at: www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov/proposal/comment/.
 
The agency proposal follows:
 
Summary

N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.6 was originally proposed to be repealed on February 4, 2013, at 45 N.J.R. 200(a). The notice of proposal expired on February 4, 2014, and accordingly, is of no legal effect. The agency is again proposing to repeal N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.6. The following is a summary of public comment along with the agency's responses based on the earlier proposed repeal.

The following is the agency's responses to the comments the agency received on the 2013 notice of proposal.
 
Summary of Public Comments and Agency Responses follows:

The Board received two comments from the following individuals:

1. Lawrence Downs, Esq., CEO, Medical Society of New Jersey

2. Virginia C. Treacy, RN, Executive Director, JNESO District Council 1

1. COMMENT: A commenter opposes the deletion of N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.6. The commenter contends that the stated purpose for the deletion, addressing perceived barriers to employment, is adequately addressed by the Board acknowledging that the rule does not impose such barriers. The commenter contends that N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.6 protects patients and is concerned that the social impact statement in the notice of proposal did not address negative impacts on patient safety. The commenter contends that the rule should not be deleted as it held nurses to their highest level of licensure which impacts the quality of healthcare and patient care.

RESPONSE: The Board disagrees that it does not need to repeal the rule in order to remove perceived barriers to employment. The New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) has told the Board that hospitals are not hiring nurses in non-nursing roles because the hospitals believe that the Board would expect such nurses to work as nurses regardless of their job title. The Board also disagrees that the repeal will endanger patient safety. The Board believes that repealing the provision will not change the care that a nurse provides in the nursing role he or she is acting within.

2. COMMENT: A commenter contends that employers have control over positions, titles, and wage level and that an employee who holds more than one license should be held to the standard of the highest license. The commenter believes that responsibilities of registered professional nurses should not be diminished. The commenter contends that the deletion of N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.6 will allow employers to hire registered professional nurses in positions with lesser salaries, which will have an economic impact on registered professional nurses.

RESPONSE: The Board does not believe that the proposed repeal of N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.6 will diminish the role of a registered professional nurse. The repeal of this rule will not create an opportunity to hire nurses in lesser positions with the expectation that such nurses will provide services associated with a higher level of licensure.
 
Summary of Rule Proposed for Repeal:

Under N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.6, a licensee is to be held to the level of his or her licensure regardless of his or her employment status. This rule addresses situations in which a registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse is working in a position that is not recognized as a registered professional nursing position or licensed practical nursing position. The most common example of this is when a registered professional nurse holding a license as a licensed practical nurse is working as a licensed practical nurse. Under N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.6, such an individual would be held to the practice standards of a registered professional nurse, even though he or she was employed as a licensed practical nurse.

The NJHA has reached out to the Board of Nursing (Board) with concerns about the rule. According to the NJHA, N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.6 has been interpreted as prohibiting hospitals and other healthcare facilities from employing a nurse in any role outside of that as a registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse. The rule does not prohibit such employment. However, the Board wishes to remove any perceived barriers to employment. Accordingly, the Board proposes to repeal N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.6.

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

The rule reproposed for repeal will have a positive social impact on nurses. NJHA has represented that N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.6 is perceived as prohibiting hospitals and other healthcare entities from employing registered professional nurses or licensed practical nurses in jobs that are not specifically "nursing" jobs and nurses are not being employed in non-nursing jobs. The proposed repeal will remove this perceived barrier to employment.
 
Economic Impact

The rule reproposed for repeal may have a beneficial economic impact on nurses in that the rule reproposed for repeal removes perceived barriers to employment. The Board does not anticipate that the rule reproposed for repeal will have any other economic impact.
 
Federal Standards Statement

A Federal standards analysis is not required because no Federal laws or standards are applicable to the subject matter of the rule reproposed for repeal.
 
Jobs Impact

By removing perceived barriers to employment, the reproposed repeal of the rule may increase the number of jobs available to registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses.
 
Agriculture Industry Impact

The Board does not believe that the rule reproposed for repeal will have any impact on the agriculture industry of this State.
 
Regulatory Flexibility Statement

Since the nurses are individually licensed by the Board under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (the Act), N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., they may be considered "small businesses" for the purposes of the Act.

The rule reproposed for repeal would not impose any costs on small businesses. The Board does not believe that nurses will need to employ any professional services to comply with the rule reproposed for repeal. The rule reproposed for repeal imposes no compliance, reporting, or recordkeeping requirements.
 
Housing Affordability Impact Analysis

The rule reproposed for repeal will have an insignificant impact on affordable housing in New Jersey and there is an extreme unlikelihood that the rule reproposed for repeal would evoke a change in the average costs associated with housing because the rule reproposed for repeal concerns responsibilities of licensed nurses.
 
Smart Growth Development Impact Analysis

The rule reproposed for repeal will have an insignificant impact on smart growth and there is an extreme unlikelihood that the rule [page=2011] reproposed for repeal would evoke a change in housing production in Planning Areas 1 or 2, or within designated centers, under the State Development and Redevelopment Plan in New Jersey because the rule reproposed for repeal concerns responsibilities of licensed nurses.
 
Full text of the rule proposed for repeal follows (addition indicated in boldface thus; deletions indicated in brackets [thus]):
 
13:37-5.6   [Responsibilities of licensure] (Reserved)
 
[A licensee shall be held to the level of practice associated with his or her licensure, either as a registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse, regardless of his or her employment status. For example, when a registered professional nurse is employed as a licensed practical nurse, he or she will be held to the standards of a registered professional nurse.]

 

If you wish to submit comments about this rule proposal, please fill out the form below. When you have completed the form, click the "Submit Your Comments" button below.

Last Name :

First Name:

Professional Organization, Association or Affiliation, if any:

E-Mail Address:

PRN 2014-160

Comments:

       
   
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