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Board of Nursing Statutes ‘Modernized’ As Governor Signs SB166

Legislation sponsored by Senator Giessel cleans up obsolete laws governing the Board of Nursing

ANCHORAGE-Today, Governor Sean Parnell signed into law Senate Bill 166 which modernizes Board of Nursing statutes. SB166, sponsored by Senator Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage Hillside/Turnagain Arm/N. Kenai), was introduced on behalf of the Board of Nursing which has tried for a number of years to correct these statutes. Governor Parnell signed the bill with Senator Giessel and several members of the Board at the MyHealth Clinic in South Anchorage.

Senator Giessel, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, served on the Board of Nursing for seven years with five of those years as board chair. “It has been more than a decade since the Board of Nursing has updated its statutes. SB 166 is predominately a ‘clean up’ bill to update terms and sections of the statute that are outdated,” said Senator Giessel. “When the Board was established, there were only LPNs and RNs, but this is no longer the case.”

The mission of the Alaska Board of Nursing is to actively promote and protect the health of the citizens of Alaska through the safe and effective practice of Nursing as defined by law. The Board protects Alaskans by regulating the practice of certified nurse aides, Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Registered Nurses (RNs), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs).

SB 166 requires that one of the positions on the Board of Nursing be designated to an Advanced Nurse Practitioner or a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, to represent the advanced scope of practice. The bill establishes a retired nurse status, similar to retired medical license status. It also adjusts the title of the board’s executive secretary, changing it to “Executive Administrator” to better reflect the duties and responsibilities of the position and requires the Executive Administrator to hold at minimum, a master’s degree in nursing.

The Board of Nursing approves Alaska nursing education programs. The accrediting requirements are constantly changing and there are an increasing number of educational institutions in Alaska. SB 166 requires the Board to continue to provide oversight approval of educational programs in Alaska utilizing accreditation by a national nursing accrediting body.

“Statutes that are current with healthcare practices are paramount to the success of the Board of Nursing’s work in protecting the public. In fact, additional changes will likely be needed in the foreseeable future, with the globalization of healthcare and the acceleration of technological advances,” said Senator Giessel.

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