West Virginia lawmakers approved a measure that would prohibit private hospitals from requiring nurses to work more than 16 hours in a 24-hour period, except in emergencies or to complete a procedure on a patient. The legislation, approved by the state Senate and House of Delegates, moves to the desk of Gov. Bob Wise, who has said he supports the bill. The West Virginia Hospital Association also supports the measure. "We came to the table and worked through the issues," an association spokesman said.
In another workforce development, the American Hospital Association has asked the Department of Homeland Security to delay the July effective date of a new regulation requiring foreign nurses to hold a certificate by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools. The AHA said the regulation would disrupt healthcare delivery, especially on the northern border where hospitals often employ Canadian nurses, and has asked for a delay until at least July 2005. The AHA also wants revisions to the regulation to exempt foreign nurses with valid state licenses or who have received training in the U.S. -- by Patrick Reilly