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GNA advocacy results in the implementation of Mandatory Reporting

Tuesday, June 10, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jeremy Arieh
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The Georgia Nurses Association (GNA) is pleased to announce that as a result of the grassroots advocacy of its registered nurse members, $2 million has been allocated to the Georgia Board of Nursing (GBON) for the implementation of mandatory reporting (House Bill 315) in Georgia.  This allocation of funds includes the approval of hiring of nine new GBON staff positions by the Governor’s Office of Budget and Planning.

“This much-needed funding for the Georgia Board of Nursing is the culmination of more than two years of advocacy on the part of GNA members at the grassroots level, Board and staff leadership,” said GNA President Rebecca Wheeler, RN, MA, PhD.  “We are encouraged to see the Secretary of State has finally recognized how crucial a Board of Nursing with improved resources that is able to enact mandatory reporting is to the safety and well-being of patients and nurses in our state.”

Mandatory reporting requires RNs and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) to report violations of the Georgia Nurse Practice Act to the appropriate Board, in this instance the GBON.  GNA worked tirelessly in the 2013 Legislative Session to ensure the passage of a mandatory reporting law that would not be too burdensome to nurses and health care facilities.  This resulted in the passage of HB 315, but language was added late in the process to make the new law effective only “when funds are specifically appropriated” by the General Assembly.  In the 2014 Legislative Session, GNA’s advocacy efforts culminated in the appropriation of more than $2 million of new funding for the GBON in the state budget (HB 744), as well as language requiring the Secretary of State’s office to allocate funding for Mandatory Reporting.

“GNA’s grassroots network of nursing professionals really stepped up to the plate on this issue,” added GNA’s Chief Executive Officer Deborah Hackman-Bartlett, CAE.  “As a result, we are going to see nine new staff positions on the Board of Nursing, which we hope will address the issues nurses have experienced in the last few years, including licensure delays, outages and an ongoing backlog of nurse disciplinary cases.”

According to the Secretary of State’s office, HB 315 will be implemented as follows:

Funding for Mandatory Reporting will be available July 1, 2014, the start of FY 2015.  The SOS has made reallocations based on the language of HB 744.  These decisions were made in coordination with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget.

The Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget has approved nine new positions for the Nursing Board, along with certain one-time costs, such as vehicles, equipment, and supplies, in order to implement HB 315.  The new positions will be posted for hire in June with start dates on or around July 1, 2014.

The nine positions include two nursing consultants, four complaint/compliance and three investigators.


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