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WEST VIRGINIA CODE

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§30-7-6a. Special volunteer registered professional nurse license; civil immunity for voluntary services rendered to indigents.

(a) There is established a special volunteer license for registered professional nurses retired or retiring from the active practice of nursing who wish to donate their expertise for the care and treatment of indigent and needy patients in the clinical setting of clinics organized, in whole or in part, for the delivery of health care services without charge. The special volunteer registered professional nurse license shall be issued by the West Virginia Board of Examiners for registered professional nurses to registered professional nurses licensed or otherwise eligible for licensure under this article and the legislative rules promulgated hereunder without the payment of an application fee, license fee or renewal fee, shall be issued for the remainder of the licensing period, and renewed consistent with the boards other licensing requirements. The board shall develop application forms for the special license provided in this subsection which shall contain the registered professional nurse’s acknowledgment that:

(1) The registered professional nurse’s practice under the special volunteer registered professional nurse license will be exclusively devoted to providing nursing care to needy and indigent persons in West Virginia;

(2) The registered professional nurse will not receive any payment or compensation, either direct or indirect, or have the expectation of any payment or compensation but may donate to the clinic the proceeds of any reimbursement, for any nursing services rendered under the special volunteer registered professional nurse license;

(3) The registered professional nurse will supply any supporting documentation that the board may reasonably require; and

(4) The registered professional nurse agrees to continue to participate in continuing education as required by the board for the special volunteer registered professional nurse license.

(b) Any person engaged in the active practice of nursing in this state whose license is in good standing may donate their expertise for the care and treatment of indigent and needy patients pursuant to an arrangement with a clinic organized, in whole or in part, for the delivery of health care services without charge to the patient. Services rendered pursuant to an arrangement may be performed in either the office of the registered professional nurse or the clinical setting.

(c) Any registered professional nurse who renders nursing service to indigent and needy patients of a clinic organized, in whole or in part, for the delivery of health care services without charge under a special volunteer registered professional nurse license authorized under subsection (a) of this section or pursuant to an arrangement with a clinic as authorized pursuant to subsection (b) of this section without payment or compensation or the expectation or promise of payment or compensation is immune from liability for any civil action arising out of any act or omission resulting from the rendering of the nursing service at the clinic unless the act or omission was the result of the registered professional nurse’s gross negligence or willful misconduct. In order for the immunity under this subsection to apply, there must be a written agreement between the registered professional nurse and the clinic pursuant to which the registered professional nurse will provide voluntary uncompensated nursing services under the control of the clinic to patients of the clinic before the rendering of any services by the registered professional nurse at the clinic: Provided, That any clinic entering into such written agreement is required to maintain liability coverage of not less than $1 million per occurrence.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, a clinic organized, in whole or in part, for the delivery of health care services without charge is not relieved from imputed liability for the negligent acts of a registered professional nurse rendering voluntary nursing services at or for the clinic under a special volunteer registered professional nurse license authorized under subsection (a) of this section or who renders such care and treatment pursuant to an arrangement with a clinic as authorized pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

(e) For purposes of this section, "otherwise eligible for licensure" means the satisfaction of all the requirements for licensure as listed in section six of this article and in the legislative rules promulgated thereunder, except the fee requirements of that section and of the legislative rules promulgated by the board relating to fees.

(f) Nothing in this section may be construed as requiring the board to issue a special volunteer registered professional nurse license to any registered professional nurse whose license is or has been subject to any disciplinary action or to any registered professional nurse who has surrendered his or her license or caused such license to lapse, expire and become invalid in lieu of having a complaint initiated or other action taken against his or her license, or who has elected to place a registered professional nurse license in inactive status in lieu of having a complaint initiated or other action taken against his or her license, or who has been denied a registered professional nurse license.

(g) Any policy or contract of liability insurance providing coverage for liability sold, issued or delivered in this state to any registered professional nurse covered under the provisions of this article shall be read so as to contain a provision or endorsement whereby the company issuing such policy waives or agrees not to assert as a defense on behalf of the policyholder or any beneficiary thereof, to any claim covered by the terms of such policy within the policy limits, the immunity from liability of the insured by reason of the care and treatment of needy and indigent patients by a registered professional nurse who holds a special volunteer registered professional nurse license or who renders such care and treatment pursuant to an arrangement with a clinic as authorized pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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