Continuing competency

The Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission adopted rules in WAC 246-840-200 through 260 for an independent continuing competency program effective January 2011 and recently updated effective January 2016.

Registered nurses (RN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN) are required to keep documentation showing at least 531 hours of active practice and 45 clock hours of continuing education within a three-year cycle. The first cycle starts on your first birthday after initial licensure. You must attest every three years to reflect you have met the requirements for both practice and continuing education. Do not send documentation to the Nursing Commission in support of the attestations unless notified of an audit via your renewal notice.

License renewals will continue to be annual. The Nursing Commission sends a courtesy renewal notice to RNs and LPNs 90 days prior to license expiration. The renewal notice will indicate the continuing competency due date. You can also check the due date online using Provider Credential Search.

Notice: You will see the attestation on your renewal notice when your renewal cycle ends. It is your responsibility to inform the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission of any change in address, email and telephone number, whether renewing or not.


Practice hours

The Commission defines “active practice” as engagement in paid, unpaid or volunteer activity performing acts requiring a nursing license. Active practice is not limited to the provision of direct patient care. The Commission recognizes that nurses use their nursing knowledge in a variety of positions and roles. There are many opportunities within the nursing profession to provide volunteer services. 

Need practice hours? Look here for volunteer opportunities!


Get organized

record-keeper

The WSNA Continuing Competency Record Keeper Kit will help you keep track of your documents verifying compliance with the new NCQAX licensure renewal requirements.

This kit is flexibly designed to enable you to create a record keeping folder that fits your needs. Select the tab dividers (included) that are pertinent to your practice / education, and use them with the record keeper folder to create a customized kit for storing the important documents that verify your compliance with Washington state’s continuing competency requirements.

Cost: $10.