A Nevada assemblyman has introduced a bill to the state legislature at the request of Perry Nixdorf, a licensed cosmetologist, to eliminate all requirements necessary to obtain a beauty license---except the ability to pass the written and practical examinations.

 “Look at the statistics and you see that the industry has had a decline in prestige, status, and salary, despite educational requirements. I started looking at the approaches that prevent hairdressers from doing well,” says Nixdorf, who advocates competency-based licensing. Nixdorf’s position is that the state board needs to require that students know more about business and technique before they can receive a license.

 “In order for that, you have to reduce the mandated curriculum of so many hours of this, so many hours of that. Students should have to learn more, but right now schools can’t comply because their hands are tied by the education hours requirement,” says Nixdorf.

Nevada state inspector Ju Lee Rollins, however, says the bill would be a setback in the industry’s struggle for professionalization. It also threatens Nevada beauty students’ ability to get student loans in the future. “It could cause a loss of federal grants and loans for students because the federal government requires students to have a 12th-grade education,” she points out.

Nixdorf is aware that some of the bill’s requirements, such as deleting the minimum high school education requirement, sound excessive. “I need some room to negotiate. If you ask for only what you want, then you’re not going to get it,” he says.

The bill is currently stalled in the commerce and labor committee and had not been voted on at NAILS’ press time. Nail technicians can call or write their local Nevada state assembly representative to express support or opposition to Assembly Bill 467. (Addresses and phone numbers are listed in your local phone book under “Government.”)

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