RULES AND REGULATIONS
STATE BOARD OF NURSING
[49 PA. CODE CH. 21]
Faculty Requirements for Nursing Education Programs
[38 Pa.B. 3806]
[Saturday, July 12, 2008]
The State Board of Nursing (Board) amends §§ 21.1, 21.71, 21.72, 21.75 and 21.124 and rescinds § 21.74 (relating to faculty and staff requirements for diploma programs) to read as set forth in Annex A.
Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 37 Pa.B. 4649 (August 25, 2007). The publication was followed by a 30-day public comment period during which the Board received comments from the public and stakeholders, including the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, various nursing education programs and individual licensees. On September 26, 2007, the House Professional Licensure Committee (HPLC) submitted its comments. The Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee (SCP/PLC) made no comments. The Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) submitted comments to the proposed rulemaking on October 24, 2007.
Summary of Comments and Responses to Proposed Rulemaking
Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) expressed concerns that the requirement that faculty assistants teach for a cumulative maximum period of 5 years without completing a graduate degree in nursing would exacerbate the nursing faculty shortage. HACC also expressed concern about what it perceived as ''the large gap in minimum qualifications between the faculty assistant and the clinical preceptor.'' HACC commented that these amendments will favor programs relying more on preceptor supervised experiences and will encourage programs to decrease instructor supervised clinical experiences in favor of clinical experiences supervised by preceptors.
Alvernia College (Alvernia) also expressed concern about what it perceived to be ''the expanded enforcement of the 5 year timeline on faculty assistants.'' Alvernia noted that bachelor's prepared faculty assistants are typically highly competent and suggested that enforcement of the existing regulation would exacerbate faculty shortages. Alvernia suggested that the Board distinguish between faculty who teach didactic courses and faculty who teach clinical courses, noting that it is more difficult for programs to find part-time clinical instructors and that clinical instructors will be most affected by the 5-year deadline.
The 5-year limitation was adopted 32 years ago (See 6 Pa.B. 2677 (October 22, 1976) at 2682)). The Board has enforced this regulation throughout its existence. The Board does not know of any evidence compiled over this 32-year history that supports a conclusion that the regulation has caused or exacerbated the current nursing faculty shortage. Nevertheless, under 1 Pa. Code § 35.18 (relating to petitions for issuance, amendment, waiver or deletion of regulations), the Board has entertained requests for waiver of the regulations to grant additional time to a faculty assistant who has been unable to complete master's preparation in 5 years. The amendments will not affect the ability of individuals to request a waiver from the Board under 1 Pa. Code § 35.18.
Alvernia did not dispute that the master's degree in nursing is the optimal preparation for nursing faculty, but suggested that the Board provide incentives for nurses to try teaching and persist in Master's education. The Board must operate within its statutorily defined duties. The Board is not aware of any incentive that it could provide to its licensees to try teaching. Alvernia could pursue legislative incentives to encourage individuals to pursue teaching while attaining a Master's degree in nursing similar to existing legislative incentives for individuals pursuing education for entry into the practice of nursing.
The director of the St. Luke's School of Nursing (St. Luke's), a diploma nursing education program, expressed concerns about the elimination of § 21.74 (relating to faculty and staff requirements for diploma programs). The Board is eliminating § 21.74 because with the amendments to § 21.71 (relating to nurse administrator, faculty and staff requirements), § 21.71 now applies to all nursing education programs, including diploma programs. As amended, § 21.71 sets the same standards for faculty and staff in diploma, baccalaureate degree and associate degree programs. Therefore, § 21.74 is no longer necessary.
St. Luke's also commented that the amended § 21.71(5) is vague, and suggested that the Board should require ''no less than one full-time secretary and a full-time librarian.'' The Board is amending § 21.71(5) to reference a wider range of student support services that should be in place in all schools of nursing. The Board declines to provide the specific support personnel requirements as suggested by the commentator in favor of leaving the details of the administrative decisions to the educational program and sponsoring institution. The Board's approach provides needed flexibility should, for example, one or more full-time librarians staff a hospital library with adequate time to assist nursing students using the library, or when a program's students may use the financial aid office of the controlling institution.
The Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA) noted its overall support of the proposed amendments, and specifically approved of the Board's retention of the requirement that faculty assistants obtain a graduate degree in nursing within 5 years.
The PSNA noted three areas of concern. First, PSNA proposed that the Board add educational requirements for clinical preceptors, requiring that they have the same educational background as the nursing faculty. There are currently no educational or experiential requirements for clinical preceptors. For many years, nursing education programs have been enhancing student learning experiences with clinical preceptors who do not hold a Master's degree in nursing; there is no evidence to suggest that clinical preceptors should now be required to hold a Master's degree in nursing. Section 21.71(c)(5) requires that the nursing faculty have involvement in the selection of preceptors and retain responsibility for planning and evaluating student learning experiences. This section has been reorganized for clarity. The selection and employment of clinical preceptors is left to the sound judgment of the nursing education program. The Board declines to set minimum educational requirements for clinical preceptors.
Second, PSNA suggested that the Board provide a specific number of students who could be supervised by a clinical preceptor. Clinical preceptors have been used for many years without problems arising from preceptor-student ratios. The ratio may be set by the nursing education program, the preceptors (through their contract with the program) or the facility or agency when the clinical experience takes place. The Board does not find it necessary or advisable to set a specific ratio to govern the wide variety of settings where a student would work with a preceptor.
Third, PSNA requested clarification on the difference between a clinical preceptor and a faculty assistant. Section 21.71(c)(2) provides that a faculty assistant may teach nursing education courses, which would include both didactic and clinical courses, under the direct guidance of a faculty member when fully qualified faculty are not available. Section 21.71(c)(5) provides that a clinical preceptor may be used to enhance faculty-directed clinical learning experiences by guiding selected clinical activities. Therefore, clinical preceptors differ from faculty assistants in that clinical preceptors do not teach courses; clinical preceptors supervise nursing students in selected clinical learning experiences. Full-time faculty remains responsible for planning and evaluating the learning experiences.
A licensee commented that the Board should set forth guidelines regarding faculty responsibility for planning and evaluating student learning experiences when the student is with a clinical preceptor, and should require that nursing faculty be available by page. For many years, nursing education programs have utilized clinical preceptors to enhance the clinical learning experiences of nursing students. The Board has never set forth specific guidelines regarding faculty responsibility; the faculty is responsible for the student and this has been sufficient to ensure proper utilization of clinical preceptor experiences. The Board declines to set forth guidelines directing faculty how to plan and evaluate the wide variety of student learning experiences that occur when a student is with a clinical preceptor.
Regarding the availability of nursing faculty during a clinical preceptor experience, the Board has always required, when it approves a proposed clinical agency for use by a nursing education program, that whenever a faculty member is not physically present in the area in which students are practicing, that the faculty member be immediately available by telephone or some other means of telecommunication. The Board has added this requirement to § 21.71(c)(5).
The licensee also suggested that the Board require nursing education programs to employ a financial aid counselor. The Board declines to adopt this suggestion because some nursing education programs may have no need to employ a financial aid counselor as this service may be provided to all students through the controlling institution (university or college).
Finally, the licensee expressed concern that the Board's regulation would allow governing hospitals to require faculty to carry out duties unrelated to student experiences, nursing education or research for the benefit of furthering nursing education and noted that the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), a Nationally recognized specialized accrediting agency for all types of nursing education programs, limits other duties to 10% of job requirements. The Board has not made any amendment to its regulations that would have the effect suggested by the licensee. The Board believes that the nursing faculty is capable of negotiating, through the employment contract, their duties and job requirements and declines to set a specific limitation. The Board is confident that additional duties will be limited to meet the goals of the program.
Another licensee raised questions about the educational/experiential requirements for being a clinical preceptor and whether a clinical preceptor could have a lower degree than the students to whom the preceptor is assigned. The licensee suggested that clinical preceptors be required to hold at least a bachelor's degree in nursing and have at least 2 years of clinical experience in the area they will be supervising. Section 21.71(c)(5) requires that nursing faculty have input into the selection of preceptors. No other educational/experiential requirements are set; therefore, it is possible that a nurse with an associate's degree in nursing might act as a preceptor for a student in a baccalaureate degree program. In that case, it would be expected that the preceptor have significant experience in preceptor's clinical area to merit appointment as a preceptor. The Board declines to set specific educational/experiential requirements for clinical preceptors.
The licensee asked whether there would be continuing education required for clinical preceptors. All RNs are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education biennially. No additional continuing education is required for clinical preceptors.
The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) provided extensive comments and noted its appreciation of the Board's efforts to develop the most flexible and comprehensive regulations in response to the need for additional nurse educators. HAP commented that the Board should flesh out the responsibilities of the nurse administrator and require that the nurse administrator have sufficient time to devote to the operations of the nursing program. Each controlling institution and program defines the role of the nurse administrator to meet the needs of the specific institution and program; the duties of the nurse administrator are defined by the employment contract. The Board prefers to leave the specifics of the nurse administrator's duties to each individual program and administrator, which provides needed flexibility in meeting the broad goals defined by the Board.
HAP recommended additional detail be added to § 21.71(a)(5), related to support services in a nursing education program. The Board has adopted this suggestion, which was made in several of the comments recieved.
Regarding faculty qualifications, HAP commented that the reference to ''clinical nursing education courses'' in § 21.71(c)(1) and (2) was confusing and suggested dropping the word ''clinical.'' The Board agrees that this terminology was confusing and that the intent was to reference both didactic and clinical content. The Board has deleted the word ''clinical.''
HAP asked for clarification on when there might be a person other than a nurse with a graduate degree in nursing teaching a specialized area of nursing practice. The primary purpose of the Board's rulemaking is to allow nursing education programs to expand their faculty complement to meet the demand for nursing education and produce more qualified nurses. To this end, the Board will allow nursing education programs, at their discretion, to employ persons other than a nurse with a graduate degree in nursing to teach a specialized area of health care practice. Some examples of subjects that might be taught by a person with a graduate degree in a major area other than nursing include pharmacology, genetics, informatics, clinical psychology, genomics, biotechnology, epidemiology and disaster planning.
HAP questioned to what extent a nursing education program that does not employ allied faculty would be accountable for ensuring that allied faculty members used to teach nutrition meet the education and licensure requirements in the regulations. For those programs that send students to another institution for some courses, the review process of the Board includes review of the agreements between a nursing education program and other institutions where students take courses. The agreement should include a clause specifying that instructors who meet the Board's qualifications teach these courses.
HAP commented that it appreciated the Board's restraint in not developing overly prescriptive regulations regarding how preceptor programs are implemented, but expressed concern over the inappropriate overuse of preceptor experiences, including the substitution of these experiences because of the lack of sufficient numbers of nurse faculty. HAP recommended that the Board engage in dialogue with the field to develop more specific guidance with respect to the use of preceptor programs. The Board intends to conduct an informational meeting related to preceptor programs and develop guidelines, which will be promulgated in a future rulemaking, related to preceptor programs in nursing education.
The HPLC met on September 26, 2007, and submitted comments for the Board's consideration. The HPLC asked if the term ''director of the program'' had a different meaning that the term ''nurse administrator.'' The term does not have a different meaning; the regulations are being modified to conform to current terminology in nursing education. The HPLC questioned the use of the term ''sufficient number'' in § 21.71(a) and asked how this would be quantified. The Board has amended the section to refer to the objectives of the nursing education program's curriculum and systematic evaluation plan. These are terms used in nursing education by, for example, the National League of Nursing. The term ''systematic evaluation plan'' is now defined in § 21.1 (relating to definitions) as an ''organized, continuous analysis of all nursing education program components, such as curriculum, faculty, facilities, policies and outcome measures. Education programs use systematic evaluation plans to address standards or benchmarks to be achieved and to establish an action plan if those standards or benchmarks are not achieved.'' The Board's addition of these terms clarifies its intent. Additionally, the use of broad terminology is supported by the model practice act of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing for use by all State nursing boards.
The HPLC suggested that § 21.71(a)(5) be amended to refer to persons to make it consistent with the other subsections. The Board has made this amendment, and expanded the list of support services covered by the section to include financial aid personnel, as suggested by another commentator.
The HPLC suggested that the Board provide specific experiential requirements for the nurse administrator. The Board believes that each nursing education program should be permitted to hire a nurse administrator, within the general guidelines set forth by the Board, who has the experience the program seeks to implement the program's educational objectives. Because the Board's regulations apply to a variety of types of nursing education programs with different administrative needs, the Board does not believe it would be advantageous to substitute its judgment as to the particular experiential background of a potential administrator for that of the institution conducting the program. Therefore, the Board declines to provide specific experiential requirements for the nurse administrator.
The HPLC questioned the adequacy of the 5-year time limit for a faculty assistant to teach, set forth in § 21.71(c)(2), and further suggested a mechanism whereby a faculty assistant could suspend the calculation of the 5-year period if the faculty assistant is no longer teaching for a period of time. The Board's use of the word ''cumulative'' is intended to indicate that the calculation is based on the periods that the faculty assistant is teaching and does not include a sabbatical or leave of absence.
Finally, the HPLC stated the following: ''The Committee also notes the overall lowering of standards for a nursing teacher and questions if the result of the change in regulations would create substandard nurses.'' The Board strongly disagrees that its regulation lowers the standards for nursing educators in this Commonwealth. As to full-time faculty, the Board sees no lowering of standards by permitting an individual who holds an earned doctorate degree in nursing to teach in a nursing education program as opposed to the current regulation which only permits an individual who holds a master's degree in nursing to teach in a nursing education program. As to faculty assistants, the 5-year limitation on individuals who do not hold at least a master's degree in nursing has been in place for 32 years; the Board's regulation does not change this limitation. Quality would be compromised if the Board were to abandon the 5-year limitation as suggested by some commentators. As to allied faculty members, for those teaching basic sciences, the Board does not see it as a lowering of standards for an individual with a master's or doctoral degree in chemistry to teach basic chemistry to nursing students rather than having the basic chemistry course taught by an individual with a master's degree in nursing; and for individuals teaching specialized areas of nursing practice, the Board does not see it as a lowering of standards for an individual with a doctoral degree in genetics to teach genetics, a doctoral degree in pharmacy to teach pharmacology, or a master's degree in clinical psychology to teach that subject in place of individual with a master's degree in nursing. As to clinical preceptors, nursing education programs have utilized clinical preceptors to enhance faculty-directed clinical learning experiences since the beginning of nursing education. There is no change made by this regulation that lowers the standards for nursing education.
In addition to questions raised by the HPLC, IRRC asked ''if the nursing program is a school or college, . . . is the nurse administrator also the head of the school or college?'' Under § 21.51 (relating to establishment), a nursing education program may be developed under the authority of a regionally accredited university or college or under the authority of a hospital. Because the nursing education program is developed under the authority of an accredited university or college, it is unlikely that the nurse administrator will also be the head of the school or college.
IRRC questioned the amendment to § 21.71(a)(3), specifically the deletion of the reference to additional faculty members being employed as needed ''to insure an educationally effective student-faculty ratio.'' The Board believes the amendment to § 21.71(a), which requires the nursing education program to employ sufficient personnel to accomplish the objectives of the curriculum and systematic evaluation plan, addresses this concern.
IRRC also requested that the final-form rulemaking address student-faculty ratios and, if the Board does not wish to set a minimum ratio, that the Board should require programs to document their rationale for, and effectiveness of, their student-faculty ratio. This information is already required to be submitted to the Board by any school whose NCLEX performance approaches the minimum standard in § 21.26 (relating to failing rate of a school in examination). The Board does not believe it is effective to manage schools at the level of a required student-faculty ratio. The Board has always taken an outcome-based approach with minimal intervention by the Board so long as the school's graduates are performing at acceptable levels on the NCLEX examination. In addition, the optimum student-faculty ratio will vary depending on the course content, format and presentation strategy.
IRRC commented that the Board should specify that allied faculty members are not required to hold a degree in nursing or a professional nursing license. The Board finds that the statement in § 21.71(c)(3), that allied faculty members must hold at least one graduate degree in a subject pertinent to their area of teaching sufficiently explains that allied faculty members are not required to hold a degree in nursing. In addition, the statement in § 21.71(c)(1), that faculty members teaching required nursing education courses shall be currently licensed, and in § 21.71(c)(2), that faculty assistants must be currently licensed, is sufficiently clear to indicate that allied faculty members are not required to hold a professional nursing license. Also regarding allied faculty members, IRRC questioned what was meant by ''as needed.'' As with all faculty, the number of faculty and their qualifications must be sufficient to meet the objectives of the curriculum and the systematic evaluation plan, as set forth in § 21.71(a).
IRRC also suggested that the Board specify which areas of the curriculum must be taught by faculty with RN licenses and which areas may be taught by others. The Board has already indicated, in § 21.71(c)(3), that allied faculty may teach basic sciences or specialized areas of nursing practice and that faculty members and faculty assistants may teach required nursing education courses. The Board finds that no additional clarification is needed.
IRRC noted that two commentators from nursing education programs ''expressed grave concern and warn that strict enforcement of the '5-year rule' will only exacerbate the shortages in faculty and new licensees.'' IRRC asked why, if a person was content as a faculty assistant, he or she should be ''forced to enroll for additional degrees?'' The Board is not aware of any other academic discipline where the faculty is not required to hold at least a master's degree in the area in which they teach. At both the associate's degree level and baccalaureate degree levels, a review of college and university catalogs demonstrates that faculty across disciplines hold at least a master's degree. Nursing is no different. The Board is not alone in its thinking: the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Model Practice Act requires nursing faculty to hold a minimum of a master's degree in nursing and the NLNAC requires nursing faculty to hold a minimum of a master's degree in nursing for national accreditation of the nursing education program.
IRRC next questioned the use of the term preceptor. The term preceptor is well-established in nursing education and, as set forth in § 21.71(c)(5), is an individual who is utilized by a nursing education program to enhance the clinical experiences of nursing students. A clinical preceptor is directly responsible for patient care in a setting; the nursing education program is directly responsible for the nursing student; and nursing faculty must be available to the student during the experience. Nursing faculty is involved in the selection of preceptors and sets the overall goals for the experience. Faculty is also responsible for the evaluation of the student. As noted, the Board will meet with interested parties to determine whether further amendments more fully delineating the use of preceptors in nursing education are needed.
IRRC also asked about the reference to out-of-State preceptor experiences, and wondered if programs could hire out-of-State nurses to be preceptors. For many, many years, nursing education programs have utilized both in-State and out-of-State sites to provide clinical experiences for nursing students. For example, nursing students enrolled in a program in this Commonwealth may participate in a clinical experience with a preceptor in another state. The Board's regulation requires that the clinical preceptor be licensed to practice nursing in the state where the clinical practice occurs. These individuals do not need temporary practice permits in this Commonwealth because they are not practicing nursing in this Commonwealth.
Finally, IRRC noted that the Board had failed to update other sections that refer to the director of the school with the new term ''nurse administrator,'' specifically §§ 21.75(e) and 21.124(b) (relating to faculty policies; and custody of records). The Board made the change to § 21.124(b) as suggested. The Board did not make the suggested change to § 21.75(e) because this section should have been removed. This rulemaking standardizes the faculty and staff requirements for diploma, baccalaureate and associate degree programs in nursing. Section 21.72 (relating to faculty policies; additional responsibilities of faculty and faculty assistants) was the section that set forth faculty policies for baccalaureate and associate degree programs; § 21.75 was the section that set forth faculty policies for diploma programs. Because the regulation standardizes faculty and staff requirements across programs by renaming § 21.71 to apply to all programs and deleting § 21.74, which had applied to diploma programs, § 21.75 is now duplicative. The Board has removed § 21.75 in final rulemaking.
Amendments by the Board
In addition to the amendments discussed previously, the Board made formatting amendments to § 21.71(c)(3) and (5) to make these paragraphs consistent with the formatting of §§ 21.71(c)(1) and (2). The Board added subparagraphs (i)--(iii) to § 21.71(c)(5) for added clarity. The Board also added a new subsection (d) to § 21.71 to address qualifications of support personnel. Finally, the Board amended § 21.72(g) to loosen the requirement set forth in the proposed rulemaking for faculty assistants to provide documentation of their activities leading to the completion of a graduate degree in nursing. The Board currently requires that all nursing education programs submit this information with the compliance review, which occurs every 3 years. The Board will inquire of only those individuals who have not demonstrated any progress toward completing the requirement, rather than require all individuals to submit documentation of their progress toward the degree.
Section 6.1 of the act (63 P. S. § 216.1) authorizes the Board to establish standards for the operation and approval of nursing education programs. Section 2.1(k) of the act (63 P. S. § 212.1(k)) authorizes the Board to establish regulations to implement the standards established by the Board.
Fiscal Impact and Paperwork Requirements
The rulemaking will not have an adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions and will not impose additional paperwork requirements upon the Commonwealth, its political subdivisions or the private sector.
Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on August 15, 2007, the Board submitted a copy of the notice of proposed rulemaking, published at 37 Pa.B. 4649, to IRRC and the HPLC and the SCP/PLC for review and comment.
Under section 5(c) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC, the HPLC and the SCP/PLC were provided with copies of the comments received during the public comment period, as well as other documents when requested. In preparing the final-form rulemaking, the Board has considered all comments from IRRC, the HPLC, the SCP/PLC and the public.
Under section 5.1(j.2) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(j.2)), on May 14, 2008, the final-form rulemaking was approved by the HPLC. On June 4, 2008, the final-form rulemaking was deemed approved by the SCP/PLC. Under section 5.1(e) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC met on June 5, 2008, and approved the final-form rulemaking.
Additional information may be obtained by writing to Ann Steffanic, Board Administrator, State Board of Nursing, P. O. Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649.
The Board finds that:
(1) Public notice of intention to adopt the amendment in 49 Pa. Code Chapter 21, was given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations promulgated under at 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.
(2) A public comment period was provided as required by law and all comments were considered in drafting this final-form rulemaking.
(3) The amendments made to the final-form rulemaking do not enlarge the original purpose of the proposed rulemaking as published under section 201 of the act of July 31, 1968.
(4) These amendments to the regulations of the Board are necessary and appropriate for the regulation of the practice of professional nurses in this Commonwealth.
The Board therefore orders that:
(a) The regulations of the Board, 49 Pa. Code Chapter 21, are amended by amending §§ 21.1, 21.71, 21.72 and 21.124 and by deleting §§ 21.74 and 21.75 to read as set forth in Annex A, with ellipses referring to the existing text of the regulations.
(b) The Board shall submit a copy of Annex A to the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of General Counsel for approval as required by law.
(c) The Board shall certify this order and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.
(d) The regulations shall take effect immediately upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
MARY E. BOWEN, RN, CRNP, DNP,
(Editor's Note: The amendment of §§ 21.1 and 21.124 and the rescission of § 21.75 were not included in the proposed rulemaking at 37 Pa.B. 4649.)
(Editor's Note: For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission relating to this document, see 38 Pa.B. 3461 (June 21, 2008).)
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 16A-5131 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.
TITLE 49. PROFESSIONAL
AND VOCATIONAL STANDARDS
PART I. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Subpart A. PROFESSIONAL
AND OCCUPATIONAL AFFAIRS
CHAPTER 21. STATE BOARD OF NURSING
Subchapter A. REGISTERED NURSES
§ 21.1. Definitions.
The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
* * * * *
Systematic evaluation plan--An organized, continuous analysis of all nursing education program components, such as curriculum, faculty, facilities, policies and outcome measures, that addresses standards or benchmarks to be achieved and establishes an action plan if those standards or benchmarks are not achieved.
* * * * *
ADMINISTRATIVE AND INSTRUCTIONAL PERSONNEL
§ 21.71. Nurse administrator, faculty and staff requirements.
(a) A nursing education program shall employ a sufficient number of qualified faculty, faculty assistants, allied faculty and staff to accomplish the objectives of the curriculum and the systematic evaluation plan. The minimum faculty and staff requirements are as follows:
(1) Full-time nurse administrator.
(2) Full-time faculty members in the areas of practice encompassed within the curriculum.
(3) Additional faculty members as needed.
(4) Allied faculty members as needed.
(5) Adequate personnel to provide program support services, including administrative, clerical, library, admissions, financial aid and student services.
(b) The nurse administrator's credentials shall be submitted to the Board for approval. The nurse administrator's qualifications are as follows:
(1) The nurse administrator of a baccalaureate degree nursing education program shall hold at least one graduate degree in nursing. The nurse administrator shall hold an earned doctoral degree or have a specific plan for completing doctoral preparation within 5 years of appointment. The nurse administrator shall have experience in nursing practice, nursing education and administration. A professional nurse who does not hold at least one graduate degree in nursing, but who has experience in nursing practice, nursing education and administration may be considered on an individual basis.
(2) The nurse administrator of an associate degree or diploma program shall hold at least one graduate degree in nursing. The nurse administrator shall have experience in nursing practice, nursing education and administration. A professional nurse who does not hold at least one graduate degree in nursing, but who has experience in nursing practice, nursing education and administration may be considered on an individual basis.
(3) The length of appointment of an interim or acting nurse administrator of a nursing education program may not exceed 1 year.
(4) The nurse administrator shall hold either a temporary practice permit to practice professional nursing or be currently licensed as a professional nurse in this Commonwealth.
(c) Faculty qualifications are as follows:
(1) Faculty members teaching required nursing education courses shall hold at least one graduate degree in nursing, shall be currently licensed as professional nurses in this Commonwealth, and shall have expertise in their areas of instruction.
(2) Faculty members without a graduate degree in nursing shall be designated faculty assistants. Faculty assistants shall be currently licensed as professional nurses in this Commonwealth. Faculty assistants may teach required nursing education courses only when fully qualified faculty are not available and shall teach under the direct guidance of a faculty member qualified as set forth in paragraph (1). Faculty assistants shall have a baccalaureate degree in nursing and shall give evidence of a plan for obtaining a graduate degree in nursing. A person may teach as a faculty assistant in a nursing education program in this Commonwealth for a maximum cumulative period of 5 years.
(3) Faculty members without a degree in nursing, but who hold at least one graduate degree in a subject area pertinent to their area of teaching, shall be designated as allied faculty members. Allied faculty members may teach basic sciences or specialized areas of health care practice.
(4) Faculty employed to teach dietetics-nutrition shall be currently licensed to practice dietetics-nutrition in this Commonwealth.
(5) An individual who enhances faculty-directed clinical learning experiences by guiding selected clinical activities shall be designated as a clinical preceptor. A clinical preceptor shall hold a current license to practice professional nursing in the state of the clinical experience.
(i) Faculty shall have input into the selection of preceptors.
(ii) Faculty shall retain responsibility for planning and evaluating student learning experiences when students are engaged in clinical activities with a preceptor.
(iii) If a faculty member is not physically present in the area in which students are practicing, a faculty member shall be immediately available by telephone or other means of telecommunication when students are engaged in clinical activities with a preceptor.
(d) Program support personnel shall be qualified by education and experience to serve in the capacity in which they are employed.
§ 21.72. Faculty policies; additional responsibilities of faculty and faculty assistants.
(a) The faculty shall be employed by and responsible to the controlling institution.
(b) Policies, including personnel policies in effect for nursing faculty, must be those in effect for faculty members throughout the controlling institution except where specified otherwise in this chapter.
(c) Functions and responsibilities of each faculty member must be defined in writing.
(d) Teaching hours and additional duties of nurse faculty must be consistent with the policies of the controlling institution.
(e) The nurse administrator and nursing faculty shall be afforded the time and opportunity to engage in leadership activities within their profession commensurate with their responsibilities.
(f) There shall be a planned and active faculty development program designed to meet the needs of the faculty. Faculty members shall maintain a record of participation in continuing education, professional self-development and other activities that promote the maintenance of expertise in their respective areas of teaching.
(g) Faculty assistants shall maintain a record of their activities leading to the completion of a graduate degree in nursing which shall be submitted to the Board upon request.
§ 21.74. (Reserved).
§ 21.75. (Reserved).
§ 21.124. Records to be filed with Board.
(a) An annual report of the school of nursing shall be sent to the Board using the form supplied by the Board.
(b) Upon completion of the entire program, a transcript or photocopy of the final record of the student shall be submitted along with the application for admission to the licensing examination. The transcript must bear the impression of the school seal and signature of the nurse administrator or authorized representative.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 08-1290. Filed for public inspection July 11, 2008, 9:00 a.m.]
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