On Monday, the Senate Business and Professions Committee is expected to recommend that the state Board of Registered Nursing seek funds to audit groups that provide continuing education courses for nurses, California Watch reports.
California nurses are required to take 30 hours of continuing education classes every two years.
In October 2010, California Watch reported that the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry decided to test those who approve nurses' continuing education courses. The Los Angeles-based group submitted paperwork for a phony class that would include instruction on a fabricated concept and other non-medical ideas. The nursing board approved the course.
According to the Senate committee, there have been no audits of the nursing board's approved continuing education providers since 2001.
Last year, Assembly member Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills) authored a bill (AB 378) that would have required nurses' continuing education courses to "contain only content relevant to the practice of nursing."
The California Nurses Association opposed the bill, saying it would unfairly single out registered nurses and undermine their legal duty to advocate in the interest of patients. The bill did not pass.
At Monday's hearing, the Senate committee will examine the consumer protection role of several professional licensing boards.
The panel is expected to recommend that the nursing board adopt a continuing education pilot project that would require nurses to "periodically demonstrate ongoing clinical competence as required for licensure renewal," according to a background paper prepared for the hearing (Jewett, California Watch, 3/14).