California Nursing Board Battles The Pro-Science Independent Investigations Group

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Nurses Revoke The Independent Investigations Group's Continuing Education License Before Feng Shui Class Happening This Sunday.

On March 27, 2009 the California Board of Registered Nursing (CBRN) revoked the Continuing Education License that the Board had previously granted to a subcommittee of the Independent Investigations Group (IIG). This revocation is because of the presentation that the IIG is performing this Sunday, April 5, 2009 which will demonstrate all of the forms of pseudo-science that the CBRN originally certified for the continuing education of nurses.

Last August, the Independent Investigations Group (IIG) at the Center for Inquiry received certification from the California Board of Registered Nursing (CBRN) to teach a Continuing Education class that includes "Chinese shéyou" (literally, "snake-oil"), anthropomancy (telling the future by reading human entrails), and "canupiary" (a made-up word) flexibility.

When the CBRN recently heard about the skeptics' plan to teach this certified class on Sunday and publicize it, they rescinded the group's certification citing "an error."

The California Board of Registered Nursing is the state agency that licenses nurses and certifies nurse Continuing Education Providers (CEPs). Nurses in California must complete 30 hours of continuing education credit every two years to maintain their licenses.

Four years ago, the IIG lobbied the Nursing Board several times to stop giving credit for the teaching of "Therapeutic Touch" - a technique long discredited by skeptic organizations such as the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, publisher of Skeptical Inquirer magazine, and the James Randi Educational Foundation. This procedure involves a practitioner manipulating a mysterious energy field around the patient. No actual physical contact is made with the patient.

When the Board ignored the IIG proposal to only teach science-based medicine, the IIG decided to submit its own supernatural-based nursing course for certification. The Feng Shui course containing other techniques outside the purview of modern medicine (see paragraph #1) won the Board's approval last August. But the Board rescinded its own certification on March 27, 2009 -- only after the IIG issued publicity criticizing the Board for letting such an unscientific course be approved in the first place.

IIG Chair and CFI-Los Angeles Executive Director Jim Underdown put this into perspective:

"The Board ignored our pleas for years to reexamine their poor standards for continuing education. Now that this Sunday's preposterous class threatens to embarrass them, they suddenly leap into action by claiming we shouldn't have been certified in the first place."

Underdown continued:

"California residents deserve the best health care science can offer. The CBRN is simply not meeting that standard."

The IIG's nurse education subcommittee - the California Foundation for Institutional Care (CFI-Care) - was (until a few days ago) Continuing Education Provider #15166, and still plans to teach the outrageous course Sunday with an explanation at the end about the critical thinking lacking in the CBRN's process. The course promises to be both educational and hilarious. Nurses will still get in for free, and the press is also invited. "It'll be a hell of a show," claims Underdown.

Information about the Feng Shui for Home Providers Class follows…

Feng Shui for Home Care Providers - A Course for California Nurses
Sunday, April 5th, 11AM - 1PM
Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles
4773 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90027
Free Parking in the CFI lot on Berendo (2 blocks east of Vermont Ave.)
(Enter the Berendo St. lot from Franklin Ave.)

All press, nurses and nursing students get in free and will receive free coffee.

For more information contact:

James Underdown
Executive Director, Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles
Chair, Independent Investigations Group
Office 323-666-9797 x 101
Mobile 213-434-1545

The Independent Investigations Group at the Center for Inquiry is the West Coast's premiere skeptical organization. The IIG has a standing offer of $50,000 to anyone who can prove paranormal abilities under scientific testing conditions. The IIG works with the James Randi Educational Foundation by screening applicants for its $1 Million Paranormal Challenge. Visit our website at http://www.iigwest.org, or e-mail us at info@iigwest.org.

The Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles is the west coast home to the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), publisher of Skeptical Inquirer magazine. Visit our website at http://www.cfiwest.org, or call (323) 666-9797 x101.

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