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Registered Nurse/Licensed Practical Nurse
Continuing Education

The Board of Nursing recognizes that licensed nurses will be involved in many continuing education activities, some of which may be beneficial to the nurse’s practice but are not acceptable for purposes of meeting the continued competence requirement for renewal and reinstatement. The following rules apply to the continuing education requirement component of continuing competency:

  1. Must be 20 contact hours within the last renewal period.
  2. Must be related to the practice of nursing.
  3. At least 10 of the 20 hours must be formally peer reviewed and approved continuing education.
  4. Up to 4 hours may be CPR or BLS courses.

Peer reviewed and approved means programs, offerings, and independent studies that are either provided by an approved/accredited provider or approved by an approved/accredited approver.

Acceptable Continuing Education

The Board of Nursing does not pre-approve offerings, but may accept as continuing education for reinstatement of a license or for license renewal the following learning experiences:

  1. Academic courses in an accredited post-secondary institution which are related to the specific knowledge and/or technical skills required for the practice of nursing.

Contact Hour Equivalencies

  • One academic semester hour is equal to 15 contact hours. For example, an approved 3 credit hour course would provide 45 contact hours of continuing education credit.
  • One academic quarter hour is equal to 10 contact hours. For example, an approved 3 credit hour course would provide 30 contact hours of continuing education credit.
  • One continuing education unit (CEU) is equal to 10 contact hours.
  • Each hour of theory will be accepted as 1 contact hour of continuing education.
  • Each hour in course related clinical practice or laboratory practicum will be accepted as 1 contact hour of continuing education.
  1. Independent/self-study nursing courses that have been assigned contact hours.
  2. Courses or offerings related to the scientific knowledge for the practice of nursing including basic and advanced courses in the physical, social, and behavioral sciences. These courses include but are not limited to: anatomy and physiology, chemistry, growth and development, microbiology, nursing ethics, nutrition, pharmacology, psychology, and sociology.
  3. Courses or offerings related to the application of scientific knowledge to patient care including but not limited to:
  1. Advanced nursing courses;
  2. Death, dying, and grief;
  3. Human sexuality;
  4. Nursing courses related to specialty areas of nursing practice;
  5. Teaching or learning process of health care, to include patients or their significant others, students, or personnel in the health care field;
  6. Therapeutic interpersonal relationship skills including communication/language skills; and
  7. Courses related to alternative therapies.
  1. Courses or offerings with the subject area related to at least one of the following components of nursing:

  1. Maintenance of mental and physical health;
  2. Prevention of illness, injury, or infirmity;
  3. Management, teaching, and counseling;
  4. Identifying human responses to actual and potential health conditions;
  5. Identifying nursing needs of individuals, families, or groups;
  6. Executing nursing treatment regimen through the selection, performance, and management of proper nursing practices;
  7. Administering, supervising, delegating, and evaluating nursing activities to include quality assessment and quality improvement activities;
  8. Teaching nurses, patients, and families;
  9. Teaching health care practices;
  10. Counseling about health;
  11. Case findings and case management;
  12. Referral to other resources concerning health;
  13. Current issues affecting the practice of nursing;
  14. Research; and
  15. Administration of medications and treatments.
  1. Courses which are required as part of a formal nursing program.
  2. Courses or offerings in nursing administration, nursing theories, management, health policy, ethics, professional issues, education, research, legal aspects, or other functional areas of nursing related to indirect patient/client care.
  3. Courses or offerings that have been approved by other State Boards of Nursing and/or national nursing organizations except for those listed in 172 NAC 101-004.04.
  4. Acceptable courses may be taken in a conventional classroom setting or through a mediated learning system. This includes educational television, audio or video cassettes, printed media, computer assisted learning and/or independent study.
  5. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Basic Life Support (BLS), Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Advanced Burn Life Support (ABLS), and Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS).

CPR and BLS are limited to 20 percent of required continuing education hours (4 hours of the required 20 hours).

Non-acceptable Continuing Education

Continuing education that is not acceptable to be applied to license renewal includes:

  • CPR, BLS (see 172 NAC 101-004.03B10) beyond the 20 percent of required continuing education hours (4 hours of the required 20 hours).
  • Computer courses unless they are a part of a formal nursing program.
  • Business communications.
  • Medical terminology.
  • Courses or offerings which deal with personal self-improvement, financial gain, or career options.
  • Offerings designed for lay persons (other than those listed in 172 NAC 101- 004.03B10).
  • Teaching, conducting research, or publications, nor any preparation for same. (These activities can be applied toward the practice hour requirement for license renewal. Such acts will count toward meeting renewal requirements only if they meet the definition of the practice of nursing.)
  • Offerings less than 30 minutes in duration.
  • On-the-job training.
  • Orientation programs, including orientation to new policies, procedures, equipment, forms, responsibilities, services, etc.
  • Other educational or quasi-educational activities that are not sufficiently professional in character to reasonably qualify as continuing education.

Responsibilities of the Licensee in Relation to Record Maintenance

The Board of Nursing may randomly select a sample of license renewal applications for audit of continued competency requirements following each renewal period. A licensee shall be responsible to maintain in his or her personal file proof of nursing practice for 7 years and must submit such proof to the Board when requested. A licensee shall also be responsible to maintain in his or her personal file such certificates of continuing education or records of credit from academic institutions for 4 years and must submit such certificates to the Board when requested.

A licensee must attend the complete continuing education offering in order to report it for credit.

Failure of the licensee to comply with the audit is grounds for discipline against the license.

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