Senate Passes Bill Requiring Mandatory Reporting for Nurses

ATLANTA (March 7, 2013) – The Georgia State Senate passed Senate Bill 13 by a vote of 52-0 today.  SB 13, sponsored by Senator Buddy Carter (R-Pooler), will require nurses to report suspected professional violations to the Board of Nursing or the Board of Examiners of Licensed Practical Nurses (the Board).

“Nurses provide compassion and comfort while assisting us through our ailments,” said Sen. Carter.  “However, when this responsibility is abused there must be a process of reporting fraudulent, unsafe or careless practices.  By passing this law, we are further instilling trust into our medical system and holding nurses accountable to the oath they took when they entered the field.”

Specifically, licensed nurse would report to the Board the names of any other nurse who the nurse has reasonable cause to suspect has:

  • Unlawfully practiced nursing as a registered professional nurse (RN) or license practical nurse (LPN) without a valid license;
  • Practiced nursing under cover of a fraudulent diploma, license, or record;
  • Practiced nursing with a suspended, revoked, or surrendered license;
  • Used any words or abbreviations implying that such person is an RN, advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), or LPN unless duly licensed as such;
  • Fraudulently furnished a license to practice nursing as an RN or LPN;
  • Knowingly aided or abetted any person to violate these provisions;
  • Been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude or controlled substances or dangerous drugs while holding a nursing license; OR
  • Displayed an inability to practice nursing with reasonable skill and safety due to substance abuse.

Likewise, hospitals, nursing homes, temporary staffing agencies and other employers of nurses must report to the Board the name of any nursing licensee who has been fired or who resigned in order to avoid termination because of any of the above violations.  State agencies that license health care facilities must also report such violations to the Board.

SB 13 will provide civil immunity for parties reporting or acting on information in good faith, as well as exceptions to the reporting requirements and voluntary alternatives to discipline.

The bill will now be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

For Immediate Release:
March 7, 2013

For Information Contact:
Jennifer Yarber, Interim Director
Emily Williams, Communications Associate