Continuing Competency requirements for nursing licensure changed June 12. These changes apply to registered and practical nurses with active, inactive, expired, and retired active nursing licenses.
These changes reduce the number of active practice hours from 531 every three years to 96 hours yearly. Additionally, the number of continuing nursing education hours is reduced from 45 hours every three years to 8 hours yearly. Audits may be conducted randomly or as part of the disciplinary process.
As a reminder, active practice hours include employment as a nurse, self-employment in a nursing field, volunteering in nursing or nursing related areas of interest, skilled nursing care for an ill family member, and designing, developing, and conducting and educational presentation for nurses or other healthcare professionals.
Continuing nursing education hours include accredited CNE, and non-accredited activities such as on-the-job learning pertaining to nursing practice, self-study, workshops, online education, attainment of a national certification, and submission of professional articles for publication.
Under WAC 246 – 840-220(4), nurses who are enrolled in or have completed prerequisite classes for an advanced nursing education program are exempt from continuing competency requirements during their current review period. Proof of enrollment or transcript may be required.
More information is coming soon from the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission. The full text of the rule changes can be found here.