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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: October 12, 2021 11:21 AM
From: Representative Aaron Bernstine
To: All House members
Subject: Nursing School Accreditation
Due to a discrepancy within Pennsylvania state licensure law, only regionally accredited educational institutions can offer RN education programs, excluding nationally accredited institutions. This is of particular concern because Pennsylvania is experiencing a nursing shortage and, as such, we should be working to attract prospective and practicing nurses to our Commonwealth. Research indicates that nursing shortages are linked to higher infection rates, higher readmission rates, higher mortality rates and poorer patient outcomes. Nurses also experience a better quality of life at adequately staffed facilities.

To make sure aspiring nurses have access to the best schools Pennsylvania can offer, I will soon introduce legislation to clarify that applicants for licensure as a registered nurse or advanced practice nurse must have received education from an institution accredited by an agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education, which includes both national and regional accreditation agencies. Opening the Pennsylvania RN education market to nationally accredited institutions will bring added revenue to the Commonwealth and may increase nursing employment since nurses are likely to remain in the state where they attended school, all without sacrificing the quality of education our nurses receive.

It is my hope that this legislation will increase the number of opportunities to shape Pennsylvania’s future nurses. Please join me in helping to make Pennsylvania more competitive in the healthcare field and in promoting quality of life for our nurses and patients.

Introduced as HB2278