May 19-21, 2004

ITEM 123-102-R0504    Establish a Review and Approval Process for Some Nursing Program Proposals, in Order to Coordinate That Review with the State Board of Nursing.

EXPLANATION: Some proposals from nursing programs must be reviewed and approved by both the State Board of Nursing and the Montana Board of Regents. In the past, that review and approval process has not been coordinated, and the two Boards have operated independently of each other. That independence will continue, but this item attempts to insure that the Montana Board of Regents receives timely and appropriate input from the State Board of Nursing on issues that depend on the expert opinion of that Board. At the same time, the State Board of Nursing will receive appropriate feedback from the Montana Board of Regents concerning decisions it makes about nursing program proposals.

The proposed process does the following important things:

  • creates one common document for review by both Boards;
  • establishes common submission deadlines for both Boards;
  • describes the review and communication process for both Boards;
  • coordinates that review process, based on the long-standing meeting schedules established by both Boards;
  • accelerates the review process at the State Board of Nursing level; but admittedly decreases the number of meetings/year when nursing proposals can be considered by the Montana Board of Regents;
  • outlines the kinds of proposals that are governed by this new procedure; and
  • attempts to define the kind of program expansion decisions that must be reviewed by both Boards.

The proposal was reviewed and accepted by the Nursing Coordinating Group, at its February 2004 meeting. The deans and directors of nursing programs, and the chief academic officers, were also consulted as the final policy language was refined. The State Board of Nursing is revising its review and approval procedures to coordinate with this proposal. Since that Board's rule-making processes are more complicated than the procedures established by the Montana Board of Regents, that revision may not be final until Fall 2004.