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Sec. of State: Law requires denial of license to Army nurse | News

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Sec. of State: Law requires denial of license to Army nurse
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ATLANTA -- Secretary of State Brian Kemp says Sgt. Beth Linderborg is one of 100 or so nursing applicants who can't get licensed in Georgia because of a glitch in the law.  Linderborg is an Army-trained nurse.  11Alive News reported on Georgia's failure to recognize Army nursing training Wednesday.

Secretary Kemp said Thursday that he has no choice. His office cannot license Sgt. Linderborg because Georgia law says the training is insufficient.

"If we were to issue a license, I would be violating my oath I took to uphold the laws of this state," Kemp said.  "Even if they're bad laws, I've got to follow them."

This summer, Sgt. Linderborg accepted a nursing job at Emory Hospital. She moved from California to Atlanta with her daughter and applied for a license with the state board that licenses nurses in Georgia. Because she'd been trained by the Army -- and had LPN licenses in three other states -- she expected the licensing to be a mere formality.

But Georgia law said Army training wasn't approved. The legislature had changed the law in 2009 in an effort to keep nursing licenses away from applicants coming out of disreputable online nursing schools. That law inadvertently also excluded Army training.

"It's a very unfortunate situation," Kemp said.  "In a perfect world," the Secretary of State's office would have caught the oversight when the 2009 law was written, Kemp said.

"You have 56 senators and 180 (representatives) and they didn't catch it either. Neither did the governor's team when they reviewed it and signed the bill," said Kemp.   

Kemp said there's no waiver possible for Sgt. Linderborg -- and about a hundred nursing license applicants like her. They'll have to wait until the legislature convenes in January to fix what he calls a bad law.

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