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EDNA LEWISON v. LOUIS P. VITTI (08/01/75)

decided: August 1, 1975.

EDNA LEWISON, MATTIE GILES, CORNELIA MOSLEY AND HELEN WALL, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
LOUIS P. VITTI, COMMISSIONER OF PROFESSIONAL AND OCCUPATIONAL AFFAIRS, AND COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, C/O SECRETARY OF COMMONWEALTH, DEFENDANTS



Original jurisdiction in case of Edna Lewison, Mattie Giles, Cornelia Mosley & Helen Wall v. Louis Vitti, Commissioner of Professional and Occupational Affairs, Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, c/o Secretary of the Commonwealth.

COUNSEL

Morton Krase, for plaintiffs.

Edward I. Steckel, Deputy Attorney General, with him Israel Packel, Attorney General, for defendants.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 20 Pa. Commw. Page 588]

Presently before us are the Preliminary Objections of Defendants, Louis P. Vitti, Commissioner of Professional and Occupational Affairs, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to the Complaint of Plaintiffs, Edna Lewison, Mattie Giles, Cornelia Mosley and Helen Wall. Plaintiffs seek to have this Court issue a mandatory injunction against Defendants ordering them to issue immediately either practical or registered nurses' licenses to them authorizing them to practice within the Commonwealth.*fn1

The gravamen of this complaint is that Defendants have violated a waiver provision promulgated by the Commissioner of Professional and Occupational Affairs which waived the normal licensing requirements in the issue of the respective licenses to those applicants who evidence successful completion of a course in either practical or registered nursing.*fn2 This waiver effectively disposes of the requirement of taking and/or passing a written examination prior to licensing.

Defendants have filed Preliminary Objections in the nature of a demurrer; a Motion for more Specific Pleading; a Motion to Strike and Non-joinder of a necessary party. The parties contend that crucial to the determination of these objections are Section 7 of the Professional Nursing Law, Act of May 22, 1951, P.L. 317, as amended, 63 P.S. § 217, and Section 5 of the Practical Nurse Law, Act of March 2, 1956, P.L. (1955) 1211, as amended, 63 P.S. § 655 (see slso 63 P.S. § 652 Historical Note),

[ 20 Pa. Commw. Page 589]

    the statutory codifications of the waiver provision in issue. Those sections state:

"Section 7:

"The Board may issue a license without examination to a graduate of a school of nursing who has completed a course of study in nursing considered by the Board to be equivalent to that required in this State at the time such course was completed, and who is registered or licensed by examination in any other state, or territory of the United States or the Dominion of ...


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