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California Briefing / Sacramento

Nursing board meetings delayed

July 26, 2009|Hector Becerra

A bureaucratic glitch has postponed board meetings scheduled to begin today to vote on ways to improve the speed with which nurses accused of misconduct are disciplined.

Under pressure after an investigation by The Times and the nonprofit news organization ProPublica found that it takes, on average, more than three years to resolve complaints against nurses, the Board of Registered Nursing was to hold meetings today and Monday to address the issue.

But the board failed to give proper notice of the meetings, a violation of the state's open-meeting law.

Most of the board members are new appointees of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who called the delays in investigating allegedly wayward nurses "unacceptable" when he fired three former members. The governor named replacements for those three and for one member who resigned; he also filled two vacancies.

Erin Shaw, a spokeswoman for the State and Consumer Services Agency, said that Monday the board will announce its "next formal meeting" to "take action on enforcement reforms."

-- Hector Becerra

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