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Fresen seeks to soften nursing education bill

A proposal winding its way through the Florida Legislature seeks to raise the bar for nursing education programs.

But on Tuesday, Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, added a provision that would give struggling programs more leniency by allowing longer probationary periods before closure.

Among the potential beneficiaries: politically connected Dade Medical College.

Three of Dade Medical College’s nursing programs are on probation for low passing rates on the national licensing exam, according to the college’s website.

Fresen said his amendment was not intended to benefit Dade Medical College, or any of the other 21 nursing programs on probation. “It allows the [state] nursing board to extend probation at their discretion,” Fresen said.

But Linda Quick, the president of the South Florida Hospital & Healthcare Association, raised concerns about the provision — and said she suspected it was likely influenced by Fresen’s ties to college executives.

“Anything that prolongs the period of time that institutions have to meet basic standards is not a good idea,” Quick said. “They should be able to do it sooner rather than later.”

Read more here.