§ 5201 Objectives.
The primary objective of the Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators, to which all other objectives and purposes are secondary, is to protect the general public, specifically those persons who are the direct recipients of services regulated by this chapter, from unsafe practices and from occupational practices which tend to reduce competition or fix the price of services rendered.
The secondary objectives of the Board are to maintain minimum standards of practitioner competency; and, to maintain certain standards in the delivery of services to the public. In meeting its objectives, the Board: shall develop standards assuring professional competence; shall monitor complaints brought against practitioners regulated by the Board; shall adjudicate at formal hearings; shall promulgate rules and regulations; and shall impose sanctions when necessary against licensed practitioners.
§ 5202 Definitions.
The following words, terms, and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them under this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
(1) "Board" shall mean the State Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators established in this chapter.
(2) "Direct supervision" shall mean oversight on the premises of a nursing home.
(3) "Division" shall mean the State Division of Professional Regulation.
(4) "Excessive use or abuse of drugs" shall mean any use of narcotics, controlled substances, or illegal drugs without a prescription from a licensed health care provider, or the abuse of alcoholic beverage such that it impairs that nursing home administrator's ability to perform the work of a nursing home administrator.
(5) "Nursing home" shall mean any licensed residential health facility for aged, infirm, chronically ill or convalescent persons, excluding neighborhood homes and group homes licensed by the Division of Long Term Care Residents Protection, that provides shelter and food to more than 4 persons who:
a. Because of their physical and/or mental condition require a level of care and services suitable to their needs to contribute to their health, comfort, and welfare; and
b. Who are not related within the second degree of consanguinity to the controlling person or persons of the facility.
(6) "Nursing home administrator" shall mean the individual licensed under this chapter to practice nursing home administration.
(7) "Nursing home administrator-in-training" or "AIT" shall mean an individual who is registered with the Board to obtain the experience for licensure under the direct supervision of a preceptor.
(8) "Person" shall mean an individual, firm, partnership, corporation, association, joint stock company, limited partnership, limited liability company, and any other legal entity and includes a legal successor of those entities.
(9) "Practice of nursing home administration" shall mean the performance of any act or the making of any decision involved in the planning, organizing, directing, or controlling of the operations of a nursing home, whether or not such acts are performed, or decisions made, by 1 or more persons.
(10) "Preceptor" shall mean a state-licensed nursing home administrator who is qualified under this chapter and approved by the Board to exercise direct supervision of a registered nursing home administrator-in-training.
(11) "State" shall mean the State of Delaware.
(12) "Substantially related' means the nature of the criminal conduct, for which the person was convicted, has a direct bearing on the fitness or ability to perform 1 or more of the duties or responsibilities necessarily related to nursing home administration.
§ 5203 Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators; appointments; composition; qualifications; term; vacancies; suspension or removal; unexcused absences; compensation.
(a) There is created a State Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators, which shall administer and enforce this chapter.
(b) The Board shall consist of 9 members, appointed by the Governor, who are residents of this State:
(1) Three nursing home administrators licensed under this chapter;
(2) Two nonadministrator from a profession concerned with the care of chronically ill and infirm, aged persons; and
(3) Four public members.
(c) Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, each member shall serve a term of 3 years, and may succeed himself or herself for 1 additional term; provided, however, that if a member was initially appointed to fill a vacancy, such member may succeed himself or herself for only 1 additional full term. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term of the former member. Each term of office shall expire on the date specified in the appointment; however, the Board member shall remain eligible to participate in Board proceedings unless and until replaced by the Governor.
(d) The public members shall not be, nor ever have been, nursing home administrators, nor members of the immediate family of a nursing home administrator; shall not have been employed by a nursing home, nursing home administrator, or a company engaged in the practice of administering nursing homes; shall not have a material interest in the providing of goods and services to nursing homes; nor have been engaged in an activity directly related to nursing home administration. The public members shall be accessible to inquiries, comments and suggestions from the general public.
(e) A person, who has never served on the Board, may be appointed to the Board for 2 consecutive terms; but no such person shall thereafter be eligible for 2 consecutive appointments. No person, who has been twice appointed to the Board or who has served on the Board for 6 years within any 9-year period, shall again be appointed to the Board until an interim period of at least 1 term has expired since such person last served.
(f) Any act or vote by a person appointed in violation of this section shall be invalid. An amendment or revision of this chapter is not sufficient cause for any appointment or attempted appointment in violation of subsection (d) of this section, unless such an amendment or revision amends this section to permit such an appointment.
(g) The Governor may suspend or remove a member of the Board for misfeasance, nonfeasance, malfeasance, misconduct, incompetence, or neglect of duty. A Board member may appeal any suspension or removal to the Superior Court.
(h) No member of the Board, while serving on the Board, shall hold a leadership position in any professional association representing nursing home administrators, or serve as head of a political action committee (PAC) for any professional association representing nursing home administrators.
(i) The provisions set forth in Chapter 58 of Title 29 shall apply to all members of the Board.
(j) Any member, who is absent without adequate reason for 3 consecutive meetings, or who fails to attend at least half of all regular business meetings during any calendar year, shall be guilty of neglect of duty.
(k) Each member of the Board shall be reimbursed for all expenses involved in each meeting, including travel, and in addition shall receive compensation per meeting attended in an amount determined by the Division in accordance with Del. Const. art. III, § 9.
(l ) A member subject to disciplinary proceedings shall be disqualified from Board business until the charge is adjudicated or the matter is otherwise concluded.
§ 5204 Organization; meetings; officers; quorum.
(a) The Board shall hold regularly scheduled business meetings at least once in each quarter of a calendar year, and at such times as the President deems necessary, or, at the request of a majority of Board members.
(b) The Board annually shall elect a President, Vice-President, and Secretary. Each officer shall serve for 1 year and shall not succeed himself or herself for more than 2 consecutive terms.
(c) A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting business. No disciplinary action shall be taken without the affirmative vote of at least 5 members of the Board.
(d) Minutes of all meetings shall be recorded and the Division of Professional Regulation shall maintain copies. At any hearing in which evidence is presented, a record from which a verbatim transcript can be prepared shall be made. The expense of preparing any transcript shall be incurred by the person requesting it.
§ 5205 Records.
The Division of Professional Regulation shall keep a register of all approved applications for license as a nursing home administrator, registration as a nursing home administrator-in-training, and license as an acting nursing home administrator, and complete records relating to meetings of the Board, examinations, rosters, changes and additions to the Board's rules and regulations, complaints, hearings and such other matters as the Board shall determine. Such records shall be prima facie evidence of the proceedings of the Board.
§ 5206 Powers and duties.
The Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators shall have authority to:
(1) Formulate rules and regulations, with appropriate notice to those affected; all rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the procedures specified in the Administrative Procedures Act [Chapter 101 of Title 29] of this State. Each rule or regulation shall implement or clarify a specific section of this chapter;
(2) Designate the application form to be used by all applicants and process all applications;
(3) Designate a written national examination, prepared by either a recognized national professional association or by a recognized legitimate national testing service and approved by the Division of Professional Regulation. The examination shall be prepared for testing on a national basis, and not specifically prepared at the request of the Board for its individual use. The examination shall be taken by all persons applying for licensure and graded by a national testing service. Applicants who qualify for licensure by reciprocity shall have achieved a passing score on all parts of the designated national examination or a comparable, alternative national or, if a national examination was not available at the time of the applicant's original licensure, regional examination;
(4) Establish minimum education, training, and experience requirements for licensure as nursing home administrators;
(5) Evaluate the credentials of all persons applying for a license as a nursing home administrator in this State, in order to determine whether such persons meet the qualifications for licensing set forth in this chapter;
(6) Conduct a criminal history background check on all applicants for registration and licensure, including temporary licensure and licensure by reciprocity;
(7) Grant licenses to, and renew licenses of, all persons who meet the qualifications for licensure;
(8) Register applicants as nursing home administrators-in-training;
(9) Issue temporary licenses pursuant to § 5211 of this title;
(10) Establish by rule and regulation continuing education standards required for license renewal;
(11) Evaluate certified records to determine whether an applicant for licensure, who previously has been licensed, certified, or registered in another jurisdiction as a nursing home administrator, has engaged in any act or offense that would be grounds for disciplinary action under this chapter and whether there are disciplinary proceedings or unresolved complaints pending against such applicant for such acts or offenses;
(12) Refer all complaints from licensees and the public concerning licensed nursing home administrators, practices of the Board, or of the profession to the Division of Professional Regulation for investigation pursuant to § 8735 of Title 29; and assign a member of the Board to assist the Division in an advisory capacity with the investigation of the technical aspects of the complaint;
(13) Conduct hearings and issue orders in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, Chapter 101 of Title 29;
(14) Promulgate regulations specifically identifying those crimes which are substantially related to the practice of nursing home administration; and
(15) When it has been determined after a hearing that penalties or sanctions should be imposed, to designate and impose the appropriate sanction or penalty after time for appeal has lapsed.