Nursing schools face tighter accreditation mandate

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Lawmakers have passed legislation that they hope will halt a slide in test scores among nursing school graduates by requiring stricter accreditation on programs.

The bill (SB 1036) addresses measures passed in 2009 and 2010 that made it easier for colleges to open nursing education programs, removing the approval process from the state's appointed Board of Nursing.

The bill, which passed unanimously, also removes oversight of nursing school evaluation from the state's legislative analysis office and hands it to the Florida Center for Nursing.

The government accountability office had pointed out numerous deficiencies with the previous measures. The center for nursing has not received state funding for three years, but an appropriation for $400,000 has been asked for in the current budget.

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