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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Final Text

Action:
Continued competency requirements
Stage: Final

Part I
General Provisions

18VAC90-20-10. Definitions.

In addition to words and terms defined in § 54.1-3030 of the Code of Virginia, the following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Accreditation" means having been accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

"Active practice" means activities performed, whether or not for compensation, for which an active license to practice nursing is required.

"Approval" means the process by which the board or a governmental agency in another state or foreign country evaluates and grants official recognition to nursing education programs that meet established standards not inconsistent with Virginia law.

"Associate degree nursing program" means a nursing education program preparing for registered nurse licensure, offered by a Virginia college or other institution and designed to lead to an associate degree in nursing, provided that the institution is authorized to confer such degree by the State Council of Higher Education.

"Baccalaureate degree nursing program" means a nursing education program preparing for registered nurse licensure, offered by a Virginia college or university and designed to lead to a baccalaureate degree with a major in nursing, provided that the institution is authorized to confer such degree by the State Council of Higher Education.

"Board" means the Board of Nursing.

"CGFNS" means the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools.

"Clinical setting" means any location in which the clinical practice of nursing occurs as specified in an agreement between the cooperating agency and the school of nursing.

"Conditional approval" means a time-limited status which results when an approved nursing education program has failed to maintain requirements as set forth in Article 2 (18VAC90-20-70 et seq.) of Part II of this chapter.

“Contact hour” means 50 minutes of continuing education coursework or activity. ]

"Cooperating agency" means an agency or institution that enters into a written agreement to provide learning experiences for a nursing education program.

"Diploma nursing program" means a nursing education program preparing for registered nurse licensure, offered by a hospital and designed to lead to a diploma in nursing, provided the hospital is licensed in this state.

"NCLEX" means the National Council Licensing Examination.

"NCSBN" means the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

"National certifying organization" means an organization that has as one of its purposes the certification of a specialty in nursing based on an examination attesting to the knowledge of the nurse for practice in the specialty area  [ and is accredited by a national body recognized by NCSBN ] .

"Nursing education program" means an entity offering a basic course of study preparing persons for licensure as registered nurses or as licensed practical nurses. A basic course of study shall include all courses required for the degree, diploma or certificate.

"Nursing faculty" means registered nurses who teach the practice of nursing in nursing education programs.

"Practical nursing program" means a nursing education program preparing for practical nurse licensure that leads to a diploma or certificate in practical nursing, provided the school is authorized by the Virginia State Board of Education or the appropriate governmental credentialing agency.

"Preceptor" means a licensed health care provider who is employed in the clinical setting, serves as a resource person and role model, and is present with the nursing student in that setting.

"Primary state of residence" means the state of a person's declared fixed permanent and principal home or domicile for legal purposes.

"Program director" means a registered nurse who holds a current, unrestricted license in Virginia or a multistate licensure privilege and who has been designated by the controlling authority to administer the nursing education program.

"Provisional approval" means the initial status granted to a nursing education program which shall continue until the first class has graduated and the board has taken final action on the application for approval.

"Recommendation" means a guide to actions that will assist an institution to improve and develop its nursing education program.

"Requirement" means a mandatory condition that a nursing education program must meet to be approved.

18VAC90-20-220. Renewal of licenses.

A. Licensees born in even-numbered years shall renew their licenses by the last day of the birth month in even-numbered years. Licensees born in odd-numbered years shall renew their licenses by the last day of the birth month in odd-numbered years.

B. No less than 30 days prior to the last day of the licensee's birth month, a notice for renewal of license shall be mailed by the board to the last known address of each licensee, who is currently licensed After [insert date], a nurse shall be required to meet the requirements for continued competency set forth in 18VAC90-20-221 in order to renew an active license.

C. A notice for renewal of license shall be sent by the board to the last known address of the licensee. The licensee shall complete the renewal form and submit it with the required fee.

D. Failure to receive the renewal form shall not relieve the licensee of the responsibility for renewing the license by the expiration date.

E. The license shall automatically lapse if the licensee fails to renew by the expiration date.

F. Any person practicing nursing during the time a license has lapsed shall be considered an illegal practitioner and shall be subject to prosecution under the provisions of § 54.1-3008 of the Code of Virginia.

G. Upon renewal, all licensees shall declare their primary state of residence. If the declared state of residence is another compact state, the licensee is not eligible for renewal.

18VAC90-20-221. Continued competency requirements for renewal of an active license.

A. In order to renew an active nursing license, a licensee shall complete at least one of the following learning activities or courses:

1.Current specialty certification by a national certifying organization, as defined in 18VAC90-20-10;

2. Completion of a minimum of three credit hours of post-licensure academic education relevant to nursing practice, offered by a regionally accredited college or university;

3. A board-approved refresher course in nursing;

4. Completion of nursing-related, evidence-based practice project or research study;

5. Completion of publication as the author or co-author during a renewal cycle;

6. Teaching or developing ]  a nursing-related course resulting in no less than three semester hours of college credit,a 15-week course, ] or specialty certification;

7. Teachingor developing ]  nursing-related continuing education courses for up to 30 contact hours;

8. Fifteen contact hours of workshops, seminars, conferences, or courses relevant to the practice of nursing and 640 hours of active practice as a nurse; or

9. Thirty contact hours of workshops, seminars, conferences, or courses relevant to the practice of nursing.

B. To meet requirements of subdivision A 8 or 9 of this section, workshops, seminars, conferences, or courses shall be offered by a provider recognized or approved by one of the following:

1. American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)/American Nurses Association (ANA);

2. National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN);

3. Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) in any state in which the AHEC is a member of the National AHEC Organization;

4. Any state nurses association;

5. National League for Nursing (NLN);

6. National Association for Practical Nurse Education and Service (NAPNES);

7. National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses (NFLPN);

8. A licensed health care facility, agency, or hospital;

9. A health care provider association;

10. Regionally or nationally accredited colleges or universities;

9.11. ]  The American Heart Associationthe American Health and Safety Institute, ]  or the American Red Cross for courses in advanced resuscitation; or

 [ 10.12. ]  Virginia Board of Nursing or any state board of nursing.

C. Dual licensed persons.

1. Those persons dually licensed by this board as a registered nurse and a licensed practical nurse shall only meet one of the continued competency requirements as set forth in subsection A of this section.

2. Registered nurses who also hold an active license as a nurse practitioner shall only meet the requirements of 18VAC90-30-105 and, for those with prescriptive authority, 18VAC90-40-55.

D. A licensee is exempt from the continued competency requirement for the first renewal following initial licensure by examination or endorsement.

E. The board may grant an extension for good cause of up to one year for the completion of continuing competency requirements upon written request from the licensee 60 days prior to the renewal date. Such extension shall not relieve the licensee of the continuing competency requirement.

F. The board may grant an exemption for all or part of the continuing competency requirements due to circumstances beyond the control of the licensee such as temporary disability, mandatory military service, or officially declared disasters.

G. Continued competency activities or courses required by board order in a disciplinary proceeding shall not be counted as meeting the requirements for licensure renewal.

18VAC90-20-222. Documenting compliance with continued competency requirements.

A. All licensees are required to maintain original documentation of completion for a period of two years following renewal and to provide such documentation within 30 days of a request from the board for proof of compliance. 

B. Documentation of compliance shall be as follows:

1. Evidence of national certification shall include a copy of a certificate that includes name of licensee, name of certifying body, date of certification, and date of certification expiration. Certification shall be initially attained during the licensure period, have been in effect during the entire licensure period, or have been recertified during the licensure period.

2. Evidence of post-licensure academic education shall include a copy of transcript with the name of the licensee, name of educational institution, date of attendance, name of course with grade, and number of credit hours received.

3. Evidence of completion of a board-approved refresher course shall include written correspondence from the provider with the name of the licensee, name of the provider, and verification of successful completion of the course.

4. Evidence of completion of a nursing research or project shall include an abstract or summary, the name of the licensee, role of the licensee as principal or coprincipal investigator, date of completion, statement of the problem, research or project objectives, methods used, and summary of findings.

5. Evidence of authoring or co-authoring a published nursing-related article, paper, book, or book chapter, which shall include a copy of the publication to include the name of the licensee and publication date.

6. Evidence of teaching a course for college credit shall include documentation of the course offering, indicating instructor, course title, course syllabus, and the number of credit hours. Teaching a particular course may only be used once to satisfy the continued competency requirement unless the course offering and syllabus has changed.

7. Evidence of teaching a course for continuing education credit shall include a written attestation from the director of the program or authorizing entity including the date or dates of the course or courses and the number of contact hours awarded. If the total number of contact hours totals less than 30, the licensee shall obtain additional hours in continuing learning activities or courses.

8. Evidence of contact hours of continuing learning activities or courses shall include the name of the licensee title of educational activity, name of the provider, number of contact hours, and date of activity.

 9. Evidence of 640 hours of active practice in nursing shall include documentation satisfactory to the board of the name of the licensee, number of hours worked in calendar or fiscal year, name and address of employer, and signature of supervisor. If self-employed, hours worked may be validated through other methods such as tax records or other business records. If active practice is of a volunteer or gratuitous nature, hours worked may be validated by the recipient agency.