Continuing Competency requirements for nursing licensure changed June 12

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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.