(Recap) BRN Oversight Sunset Hearing
The CA Legislature held Joint Hearing of the Senate Business, Profession, and Economic Development and the Assembly Business and Professions for Sunset Review Oversight of the BRN. Roxanne Gould, ANA\California's Lobbyist, testified during the public comments portion (see the link below).
ANA\C public comment:
"We support the use of relevant regional data in nursing programs approval."
"We welcome the recommendation to cooperate with national accreditation bodies & agencies to assure CA nursing students receive a good education."
"The importance of swift complaints investigation by the BRN is paramount to prevent years of protracted processes affecting nurses their ability to return to the practice of nursing (when appropriate)."
Recording of Roxanne’s testimony: https://youtu.be/VHOjNv_ytMc
We also thanked the state committee(s) members and the state auditor for their diligent work.
Changes at BRN are crucially needed to improve its decision making, usher innovation in nursing education, and advance nursing practice in CA.
Highlights from the Hearing:
BRN collusion and fraud re: complaints investigation machinations that were uncovered via a whistleblower were discussed
BRN culture and its ability to protect the public was questioned
Processes re: verification, licensing, and endorsement was questioned
The opposition to Nursys.com was questioned.
Asm. Low alluded to the fact that public members of the BRN Board of Directors were dissuaded from participating today as not one Board member attended the hearing. The Chair -Sen. Roth- was miffed.
The importance of using relevant and appropriate regional data for BRN decision making re: enrollment approval of nursing programs was stressed.
The lack of clinics as clinical practicum sites for nursing students was questioned.
The State Auditor delivered a scathing report critical of the above aspects.
The unnecessary doubling efforts between BRN regulations/oversight of nursing programs and the national accreditation agencies were questioned and recommendation of needed cooperation between the two sides -as showcased by the Medical, Pharmacy, PA, and Osteopathy Boards- was made by the State Auditor.
Sen. Pan questioned CEs, the process of verification, the audit of CE providers, and if NPs also need “only” 30 CEs versus MDs that need 50 CEs every two years.
Sen. Pan also pointed to overpriced services by CA DoJ for investigation of complaints citing prices inflated by anywhere between 100% - 300% of the actual cost. For example, the legal analyst salary is around $80K but the DoJ is charging the CA BRN around $300K.
Loretta Melby delivered BRN's response and answered lawmakers' questions.
The Chair heard from around 20 people during the public comments portion that included 2 anonymous testimonies: #1 describing problematic practices by the BRN towards a licensee with a criminal record from 10 years ago, and #2 a BRN employee pointing to nepotism at BRN hiring practices and her fears of retaliation against her for speaking up.