senate Bill S2336

2009-2010 Legislative Session

Excludes services of attendants in certain residential care centers for community residences and family care homes; repealer

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee

  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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view actions (2)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 06, 2010 referred to higher education
Feb 18, 2009 referred to higher education

S2336 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Education Law

S2336 - Bill Texts

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An act to repeal paragraph b of subdivision 1 of section 6908 of the
education law, relating to the practice of nursing at institutions
under the jurisdiction of the department of mental hygiene

The purpose of this bill is to improve the quality of care provided in
facilities operated or licensed by the Office of Mental Health (OMH)
and the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities

This bill amends Section 6908(1)(b) of the Education Law to eliminate
the exemption in the education law which allows attendants in
facilities subject to the jurisdiction of OMH and OMRDD to perform
certain nursing functions if adequate nursing supervision is provided
by removing the exemption as it relates to psychiatric centers,
developmental centers and community residences licensed or operated by
OMRDD as Intermediate Care Facilities.

The exemption clause allows attendants in "institutions under the
jurisdiction of the Offices of OMH and OMRDD to practice nursing "if
adequate nursing and medical supervision is provided." This provision
is unique and specific to these institutions. In no other agency -
public or private - is permission granted to unlicensed personnel for
functions that are otherwise the responsibility of licensed personnel.

This clause was included within the Nurse Practice Act in 1938. During
that era, treatment for the institutionalized mentally ill or retarded
patient, focused almost exclusively on the custodial aspects of health
care. Since that time, radical changes have occurred in the nature,
scope and philosophy of care of the mentally ill and retarded. Mental
health services are far more complex, and there is now an acute
awareness of the client's right to sound developmental and therapeutic

Similarly, nursing practice has advanced significantly since 1938.
This evolution is reflected in Section 6902 of Article 139 of the
Education Law of New York as amended in 1972. Within this section, the
practice of nursing is defined in part as "diagnosing and treating
human responses to actual or potential health problems through such
services as casefinding, health teaching, health counseling and
provision of care supportive to or restorative of life and

In light of these changes, grave concern exists over trends within OMH
and OMRDD toward delegation to mental health attendants of authority,
and functions of responsibilities far beyond their level of initial
and ongoing preparation. Examples of these include such crucial
professional responsibilities as administration of medication,
assessment, and interpretation of responses to illness which indicate
a need for complex and immediate therapeutic action. It is not
uncommon for therapy aides to be assigned full and direct
responsibility for the health, treatment and well-being of large
numbers of clients during evening and night hours of duty.

S.2730 of 2007-08; S.3163/A.15 of 2005-06; S.2637 of 2003-04,
S.1830/A.7284 of 2001-02.


Possible increased cost to the State due to increased licensed nursing
services in those facilities being removed from present exemption.

This act shall take effect two years after enactment.
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