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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Autonomy of CNMI nursing board sought

The CNMI nursing board should be re-established as an autonomous public agency to ensure its ability to function independently and more effectively, among other things, Rep. Fred Deleon Guerrero (R-Saipan) said.

Deleon Guerrero, in his House Bill 17-319, said it is also prudent to afford the board the power to re-appoint members to a second term if no other appointment appears after 90 days.

“This 90-day waiting period reinstates to the board powers as the Legislature originally envisioned without infringing upon the governor’s appointment authority,” the outgoing lawmaker from Precinct 5 said.

Right now, the Commonwealth Board of Nurse Examiners regulates the practice of nursing in the CNMI. It ensures that any person practicing or offering to practice nursing in the CNMI is properly licensed for the protection of the public’s health, safety and welfare.

The board, as it is now, is created within the Department of Public Health, now Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., and is carrying out its duties as mandated.

Deleon Guerrero said it is necessary and reasonable to re-establish the Commonwealth Board of Nurse Examiners as the NMI Board of Nursing, an autonomous public agency, along with expenditure authority over funds and provide the board with expenditure authority over its funds.

Outgoing House Speaker Eli Cabrera (R-Saipan) may call for a session next week, so that remaining bills that members deem “urgent” could be formally introduced or voted on.

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