Law denies license to nursing students

  • Follow Metro

ATLANTA --- Thousands of potential registered nurses could be denied a license -- at the same time that Georgia faces a shortage of health-care professionals -- because of a state panel's interpretation of a new law.

The Georgia Board of Nursing's decision to reject applications from graduates of the nontraditional program offered by New York-based Excelsior College has drawn fire from the school and the Georgia Nurses Association, which helps administer the program. They say the board's decision will keep thousands of otherwise qualified students from helping ease Georgia's nursing shortage.

But the panel says its hands are tied by a new state law ordering it to crack down on schools with weaker standards.

"Applicants for licensure by endorsement must graduate from schools whose curricula are no less stringent than those standards established by the Board," said an announcement on the changes posted on the board's Web site. "The Board is not unsympathetic to the plight of the students who have been adversely affected by this new law, but the Board has a duty to uphold the law and is currently doing so."

The nurses association said it fully supports efforts to shut down "fly-by-night" schools, but argues that the Board of Nursing misfired in going after Excelsior, a private school established in Georgia in 1975 and with campuses in several states.

About 1,100 students are enrolled in Excelsior's program in Georgia.

The students, who usually hold another type of nursing license or have clinical experience, learn at their own pace and take eight tests before a 21/2-day clinical assessment administered by the Georgia Nurses Association.

That "nontraditional" model doesn't fit into the guidelines established by the Board of Nursing for in-state schools, Excelsior and the association argue.

"The board needs to be more discriminating than that," said John Ebersole, the president of Excelsior.

"They need to understand that what is appropriate for an 18-year-old isn't appropriate for a 40-year-old. ... We feel like the stringency is there. It just looks different than it does in a traditional program," he said.

Comments (18) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
LadyCisback
4
Points
LadyCisback 10/02/08 - 06:57 am
0
0
the same thing should be done

the same thing should be done with the education programs!

whyme
2002
Points
whyme 10/02/08 - 11:35 am
0
0
They should also look at how

They should also look at how many impaired nurses are out there practicing.

r11mcbell
0
Points
r11mcbell 10/02/08 - 12:12 pm
0
0
Good for the board. Don't

Good for the board. Don't lower your standards so they can kill us.

MISSTUTTARGA
0
Points
MISSTUTTARGA 10/02/08 - 02:31 pm
0
0
i agree. thats just like

i agree. thats just like being a cna in 4-6 weeks oh my god..all the schools need to be out of commission..thats why all these nursing homes are below par..

mable8
2
Points
mable8 10/02/08 - 02:58 pm
0
0
Good for the Board, standards

Good for the Board, standards need to be kept whether or not the nursing associations like the idea. Some of the schools are deficient in the courses offered and need to be shut down. Students should check the accreditation of the selected school before enrolling.

Medic47thCBSH
0
Points
Medic47thCBSH 10/02/08 - 07:57 pm
0
0
I think they should do a test

I think they should do a test annually to include a hands on passing medicines and treatments inspection. I am a medic and have a test every year, also I took the GA State Board Exam and passed many years ago. The test for the GA State “po” me because it was so easy. It did not meet what my expectation of what a serious exam should be for a nurse, who is the first line of patient safety and care, to include care for the patient family and the psychological effects of a sick or trauma injury love one places on the family members. Everybody is treated with the care I would give to one of my children. Except, I crawl to guys under the live fire and do all I can to stay alive to keep them alive. No escape for medic until the last man can go with you is what I was trained to do. Give all you got and then more. It is not just a job; it is passion for fellow human being. I can face God with pride and no shame. Thanks to you Academy of Health and Science Ft. Sam Houston TX, and to Col. B. Pierce for the ridge training you place on our class and me. PS Pay the instructor a salary with benefits that are decent and the students screening for moral values as well IQ before they enter=Quality!

disssman
6
Points
disssman 10/03/08 - 09:12 am
0
0
Don't get to fast here. If I

Don't get to fast here. If I am not mistaken, MCG agreed to hire all thos people that were living in the Ghetto, as soon as possible. If we start making licenses harder then what will we do with those folks. After all a promise-is-a-promise, isn,t it? And we have already started plans for taxpayer construction!!

myobgdi
6
Points
myobgdi 10/03/08 - 10:25 am
0
0
On it's face, this looks like

On it's face, this looks like the state watching out for you. But having been a victim of Georgia's licensing practices, I can tell you that this is not what is going on here. Georgia's board of nursing is a bunch of mindless, thoughtless women who cannot think outside the box. If you don't get to the licensing process in a locked-step, everybody-is-the-same way, you must pay big money and jump thru ridiculous hoops to prove that you know how to walk in the locked-step they like. This has nothing to do with impaired nurses. It has to do with passing a national board test. If you can take and pass that test, you are qualified to be licensed. Some who pass the test will be shining stars and some will be awful. That is true of every profession: doctors, lawyers and nurses. Let them be licensed. The marketplace will weed out the stinkers.

elisavit
0
Points
elisavit 10/03/08 - 10:40 am
0
0
Excelsior graduates are not

Excelsior graduates are not held to the same standards other Georgia students are held to. Excelsior accepts transfer core curriculum courses that no Georgia university would accept and their nursing students are required ONLY ONE WEEKEND of clinical training during the entire program. Some would argue that these students are already "health care professionals" simply bridging to the next level. As an instructor of nursing who has taught at both the LPN and the RN levels, I can assure you there IS a difference. AN LPN with ONE WEEKEND of RN level clinical training is NOT safe. This is precisely why the Georgia Board of Nursing will not allow Excelsior graduates to sit for the state boards examination in this state. Though a loophole in the law they have tested in other states with less stringent expectations and have been allowed to transfer their licenses to practice to Georgia. Thank heavens that we are at last closing that loophole. If Excelsior wants its graduates to practice nursing in Georgia, the "school" should hold its students to the same requirements as Georgia nursing graduates and the same standards should be upheld not matter what age they are!

elisavit
0
Points
elisavit 10/03/08 - 10:45 am
0
0
I don't think we want "the

I don't think we want "the marketplace to weed out the stinkers" in a profession where incompetence can kill.

edrn96
0
Points
edrn96 10/03/08 - 11:00 am
0
0
Perhaps the Excelsior program

Perhaps the Excelsior program should just make there initial acceptance criteria more stringent. I don't think this program is for students with no prior clincial/medical experience. However, it's perfect for the long-time paramedic that's been working in the 'real world' for many years. As a practicing nurse in both GA and SC, I can say that I have worked with several 'nursing-school trained RNs' that can't think outside the box. Just because you've been to the school and passed the tests, doesn't guarantee that you can do the job.

For all you EMT-P's that are fighting to get your RN -- keep up the fight b/c lord knows there's not enough nurses now, and wtih ya'll out of the loop, that just means more non-licensed people are going to be hired to 'aid' the already overworked, underpaid, stress-out RN's in the profession now!!!!

elisavit
0
Points
elisavit 10/03/08 - 12:52 pm
0
0
Georgia has its own

Georgia has its own paramedic-to-RN and LPN-to-RN bridge programs that meet the standards set by our state. These are the programs in which our health care professionals should be trained....programs in which they get a reasonable number of clinical hours to help them bridge from one role to the other.

myobgdi
6
Points
myobgdi 10/03/08 - 07:25 pm
0
0
Eli, you said: "AN LPN with

Eli, you said: "AN LPN with ONE WEEKEND of RN level clinical training is NOT safe". But be honest. Neither is the average RN graduate "safe". The training of all nurses is woefully inadequate. The current trend is to admit 60 to the class and graduate fewer than 20. Nursing has chosen to move away from the type of training that actually prepared the students to give care (remember 3 year hospital based programs?) to preparing everyone, regardless of skill, to be a manager. To all reading this, do you really care if your nurse has taken a class in statistics? Because if the nurse has the big letters B.S.N. behind their name, you can rest assured that they HAVE passed statistics. Isn't that going to be a great comfort to you when they are hovering over you after your open-heart surgery?

SIGHER
0
Points
SIGHER 10/03/08 - 10:23 pm
0
0
I am a nursing student at

I am a nursing student at ASU. There are several LPN's in my class transitioning to get their RN Licensure. They must take the prerequisite classes, pass the same exams and complete the same amount of clinical time as any other student . The only exception is they must successfully complete a transition course to enter into their 2nd year. There are also several EMTs and a Respiratory Therapist in my class. Not patting myself on the back or anything, but, it is very difficult to be accepted into the school of nursing at any University System of Georgia institution. This is probably the hardest thing I have ever done. Nurses are front line people and it is not for everyone......Patient Safety is #1. Nurses are patient advocates. If I or a loved one were a patient in a hospital being cared for, the nurse had better know what she/he is doing. Once a student graduates, they must shadow a seasoned RN for a period (not sure how long) at the institution that hired them. This is more so they can become familiar with policies, technologies, etc. I, for one, am glad and proud to be held to a higher standard.

myobgdi
6
Points
myobgdi 10/03/08 - 10:54 pm
0
0
Sigher, best of luck in your

Sigher, best of luck in your program. I wish you all the best. As to your statment: "Once a student graduates, they must shadow a seasoned RN for a period at the institution that hired them. This is more so they can become familiar with policies, technologies, etc." Just for fun, keep notes about your first day as a graduate nurse and then review them a year later. See if all you have learned is policies and technologies.

SIGHER
0
Points
SIGHER 10/04/08 - 11:00 am
0
0
God, myobqdi, I hope that is

God, myobqdi, I hope that is not all I learn. In my clinical experience, I have learned a lot from the CNA's, LPN's, and other disciplines. Though, I have also witnessed some pretty bad RN's. You can tell the ones that really do not like their job. And it is true what they say, some of the RNs eat their young. I have already started a journal beginning my first days in clinical a year ago. If for anything, to cover my azz. I have no qualms reporting ineptness. Let's just say, I am not going into this field to be popular with the other nurses or to make friends. I want to help and educate people about health. I know the real world training will be after I graduate. Thanks for the support!

myobgdi
6
Points
myobgdi 10/04/08 - 03:55 pm
0
0
Sigher, about "And it is true

Sigher, about "And it is true what they say, some of the RNs eat their young": Women are the majority of RNs, and WOMEN eat their young. If you have the pleasure to work with a few male RNs, you will experience another whole world of professional collaboration and cooperation without the backbiting and back stabbing. And if you "have already started a journal beginning my first days in clinical a year ago. If for anything, to cover my azz", you are VERY smart! And your comment about ineptitude brings us back to the origin of this discussion: The arbitrary roadblocks that the licensing board has set up in GA are preventing or frustrating knowledgeable and competent applicants. The rules should be rethought, but the board is incapable of rethinking. They know how to apply the rules. They are not paid to think. Again, best of luck to you, SIGHER!!

youbetcha
0
Points
youbetcha 10/04/08 - 11:02 pm
0
0
Good for you SIGHER! I work

Good for you SIGHER! I work at a local hospital and some off the RN's (real nuts!) I work with are scarey. There are alot of them that don't give a hoot. All I can do is hold them accountable when I can.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Solar 'farm' for Fort Gordon?

ATLANTA -- Georgia military installations at Fort Stewart, Fort Gordon, Fort Benning and Kings Bay will one day be housing solar farms that can make them independent of the power grid in ...
Search Augusta jobs