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(1) An educational institution wishing to establish a program in nursing and to secure initial approval shall submit to the board a feasibility study by either December 1 or September 1 for review at the board's January or October, respectively, board meetings. For programs under the jurisdiction of the Montana Board of Regents, a common document shall be submitted.

(2) The feasibility study must include at least the following information:

(a) population data within the past three years and workforce supply and demand data from the past year documenting the need for the program as it relates to plans for total state resources and nursing education needs within the state;

(b) purpose and classification of program;

(c) availability of qualified faculty;

(d) budgeted faculty positions;

(e) availability of adequate clinical and academic facilities for the program;

(f) evidence of financial resources adequate for the planning, implementation, and continuation of the program;

(g) anticipated student population;

(h) tentative time table for planning and initiating the program; and

(i) consideration of how the proposed program may affect existing nursing programs in the state, and indication that plans and the feasibility study regarding the proposed program have been shared with the directors of existing programs in the state.

(3) When the data submitted in the feasibility study are reviewed, the board may request additional information and may conduct a site visit to evaluate the information submitted.

(4) Approval of the feasibility study by the board permits the institution to continue planning but does not assure subsequent approval.

(5) The following conditions must be met prior to application for initial program approval:

(a) a qualified nurse administrator has been appointed and there are plans for sufficient qualified faculty to initiate the program; and

(b) a tentative written proposed program plan developed in accordance with the current Standards for Montana Schools of Professional or Practical Nursing has been submitted.

(c) For programs under the jurisdiction of the Montana Board of Regents, the board will make a recommendation to the Montana Board of Regents concerning the quality of the proposed program's curriculum, faculty, and clinical experiences and will make its final decision on approval only after receiving notification of the program's approval from the Board of Regents. The program may then admit students who shall be eligible upon completion of the program to take the licensing examination.

(6) Between six months and one year following the feasibility study, the board shall review and conduct a site visit utilizing the initial application and feasibility study for the proposed program, and may grant initial approval following board review. Any communications from the board must be sent to the program director and the leadership of the parent institution.

(7) Progress reports shall be made to the board as requested.

(8) Following graduation of the first class, a self-study report of compliance with ARM Title 24, chapter 159, subchapter 6, shall be submitted and a site visit may be made.

History: 37-8-202, 37-8-301, MCA; IMP, 37-8-202, 37-8-301, 37-8-302, MCA; NEW, 1982 MAR p. 1603, Eff. 8/27/82; AMD, 1991 MAR p. 2435, Eff. 12/13/91; AMD, 2003 MAR p. 1080, Eff. 5/23/03; AMD, 2005 MAR p. 742, Eff. 5/13/05; TRANS, from Commerce, & AMD, 2006 MAR p. 2035, Eff. 8/25/06.

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