Connecticut Seal

Substitute Senate Bill No. 515

Public Act No. 04-196

AN ACT ADDRESSING THE NURSING SHORTAGE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) There is established a Connecticut nursing faculty incentive program administered by the Office of Workforce Competitiveness.

(b) Within available appropriations, the program shall provide grants to institutions of higher education that work collaboratively with hospitals, as defined in section 19a-490 of the general statutes, to (1) establish or expand nursing education programs designed to qualify a person who successfully completes such program to teach or train nursing students enrolled in a program leading to a bachelor's degree in nursing or certification to work as a registered nurse, or (2) encourage persons employed by hospitals or in other industries who are qualified to teach or train nursing students enrolled in a program leading to a bachelor's degree in nursing or certification to work as a registered nurse to serve as full-time or part-time faculty members at institutions of higher education.

(c) Not later than January 1, 2006, the Office of Workforce Competitiveness shall submit a status report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes, on the establishment and operation of the incentive program authorized under this section to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education, public health and higher education and employment advancement.

Sec. 2. (Effective from passage) (a) The Department of Higher Education shall conduct an assessment of the current and future capacity of the state system of higher education to educate and train students seeking to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing or seeking to become a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse. Such assessment shall include an examination of (1) the number of faculty members employed by each institution of higher education that are qualified to teach such students, (2) the number of nursing students that can be accommodated by each institution of higher education, (3) the number of nursing students admitted to each institution of higher education, (4) the number of nursing students that have graduated from each institution of higher education with a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in nursing, and (5) any barriers to graduation for nursing students enrolled at an institution of higher education.

(b) Not later than January 5, 2005, the Commissioner of Higher Education shall submit a report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes, on the results of such assessment to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public health and higher education and employment advancement.

Approved June 3, 2004