SECTION 1. The General Court hereby finds that there exists a nursing shortage in the Commonwealth and that the shortage of qualified nurses will increase in the near future. The General Court further finds that the Commonwealth shall provide a forum for long-range planning and policy development among nursing leaders. This forum will exist to ensure that the Commonwealth meets the nursing and healthcare needs of its citizens.
SECTION 2. Chapter 6A of the General Laws as so appearing in the 2014 Official Edition is hereby amended by inserting after section 16G the following section:—
Section 16H. A nursing advisory board is hereby established within, but not subject to the control of, the executive office of health and human services. The advisory board shall consist of 8 members who shall have a demonstrated background in nursing or health services research and who shall represent the continuum of health care settings and services, including, but not limited to, long-term institutional care, acute care, community-based care, public health, school care, advanced practice, psychiatric nursing, and higher education in nursing. The members shall be appointed by the governor from a list of 10 individuals recommended by the board of registration in nursing and a list of 10 persons recommended by the Massachusetts Center for Nursing, Inc. The advisory board shall elect a chair from among its members and adopt bylaws for its proceedings. Members shall be appointed for staggered terms of 3 years, except for persons appointed to fill vacancies who shall serve for the balance of the unexpired term. No member shall serve more than 2 consecutive full terms.
The advisory board shall:—
(a) advise the governor and the general court on matters related to the practice of nursing, including the shortage of nurses across the commonwealth in all settings and services, including advanced practice nursing, long-term institutional care, acute care, community-based care, public health, school care, and higher education in nursing;
(b) subject to appropriation, develop a research agenda, apply for federal and private research grants, and commission and fund research projects to fulfill the agenda;
(c) recommend policy initiatives to the governor and the general court;
(d) prepare an annual report and disseminate the report to the governor, the general court, the secretary of health and human services, the director of labor and workforce development and the commissioner of public health; and
(e) consider the use of current government resources, including, but not limited to the workforce training fund.
Any funds granted to the advisory board shall be deposited with the state treasurer and may be expended by the advisory board in accordance with the conditions of the grants, without specific appropriation. The advisory board may expend for services and other expenses any amounts that the general court may appropriate therefore. Said advisory board shall conduct at least 1 public hearing during each year.
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