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06/13/97 CONSTANCIA O. BINKLEY v. NIKKI M. ZOLLAR

June 13, 1997

CONSTANCIA O. BINKLEY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
NIKKI M. ZOLLAR, DIRECTOR OF THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PROFESSIONAL REGULATION, AND KITTIE D. WEST, MANAGER OF THE NURSE LICENSING UNIT OF THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PROFESSIONAL REGULATION, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY. HONORABLE DOROTHY KINNAIRD, JUDGE PRESIDING.

Released for Publication July 21, 1997.

The Honorable Justice Hoffman delivered the opinion of the court. Hourihane and South, JJ., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hoffman

JUSTICE HOFFMAN delivered the opinion of the court:

The plaintiff, Constancia O. Binkley, appeals from an order of the circuit court affirming a decision of the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation (Department) denying her application for licensure as a registered professional nurse. For the reasons which follow, we affirm.

After completing a three-year course of study, the plaintiff received a degree in nursing from St. Anne's School of Nursing in the Philippine Islands, and was licensed as a registered nurse in that country in 1982. The plaintiff migrated to the United States in 1988, and has been employed as a nurse-technician and certified nurse assistant at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago since November 1989.

The plaintiff registered to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX) in Illinois in July 1989, but was absent from the test due to illness. Thereafter, the plaintiff took and failed the NCLEX in Minnesota in February 1990, February 1991, July 1991, February 1992, July 1992, and February 1994. In July 1994, the plaintiff passed the NCLEX in Minnesota and was licensed as a registered professional nurse in that state on July 13, 1994.

Supported by her Minnesota license, the plaintiff applied to the Department on October 24, 1994, for a license to practice as a registered professional nurse in Illinois under the endorsement of license provisions of section 19 of the Illinois Nursing Act (Act) (225 ILCS 65/19 (West 1994)). The Department denied her application on November 2, 1994, because, on the date that the plaintiff received her license to practice as a registered professional nurse in Minnesota, that state's requirements to be licensed by examination were not substantially equal to the Illinois requirements in effect at that time. Specifically, her application was denied because she failed to pass the licensing examination within three years as required by section 15 of the Act (225 ILCS 65/15 (West 1994)).

On December 6, 1994, the plaintiff filed a complaint for administrative review in the circuit court. The circuit court affirmed the decision of the Department, and this appeal followed.

Relying upon the decision in Murry v. Department of Professional Regulation, 279 Ill. App. 3d 655, 664 N.E.2d 716, 216 Ill. Dec. 79 (1996), the plaintiff argues that the requirement that an applicant pass a licensing examination within a three-year period as set forth in section 15 of the Act applies only to licensure by examination and not licensure by endorsement under section 19 of the Act. We disagree, and decline to follow Murry.

Section 19 of the Act provides that:

"(a) Upon payment of the required fee, and pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the Department, an applicant who is a registered professional nurse *** licensed by examination under the laws of another state or territory of the United States shall, without examination, be granted a license as a registered professional nurse *** by the Department:

(1) whenever the requirements of such state, or territory of the United States were at the date of license substantially equal to the requirements then in force in this State ***; or

(2) whenever such requirements of another state or territory of the United States together with educational and professional qualifications, as distinguished from practical experience, of the applicant since obtaining a license as a registered professional nurse *** in such state or territory of the United States are substantially equal to the requirements in force in Illinois at the time ...


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