Governor vetoes bill expanding CNAs' role

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West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) has vetoed a bill that would have allowed certified nursing assistants with special training to distribute medicine to nursing home residents.

Proponents say the legislation mirrored existing laws in other states, while critics had argued it allowed less qualified people to distribute medicine and could lead to errors.

“Lessening the professional standards for those caring for nursing home residents would inevitably result in diminished care,” Justice wrote in a March 28 letter explaining his action.

The bill would have allowed CNAs with at least one year of experience to earn a medicine-distribution certification and assist residents in stable condition, West Virginia News reported.

“These people are in a facility, not in their own homes,” Julie Huron, interim executive director of the West Virginia Nursing Association, told the newspaper. “They are paying for a skilled technician to administer the care. They are paying for a nurse to watch over and care for them.”

The Nursing Association argued against the bill.

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