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NEW JERSEY REGISTER
VOLUME 37, NUMBER 11
MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2005
RULE PROPOSAL
LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
NEW JERSEY BOARD OF NURSING
CONTINUING EDUCATION

Proposed New Rule: N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3

Proposed Amendment: N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.4

Authorized By: New Jersey Board of Nursing, George Hebert, Acting Executive Director.

Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:11-24.
Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.
Proposal Number: PRN 2005-208.

Submit written comments by August 5, 2005 to:

George Hebert, Acting Executive Director

New Jersey Board of Nursing

PO Box 45010

124 Halsey Street

Newark, NJ 07101

The agency proposal follows:

Summary

Pursuant to its rulemaking powers found in N.J.S.A. 45:11-24(d)27, the New Jersey Board of Nursing (the Board) proposes new rule N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3, instituting continuing education requirements for registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses, and amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.4.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3(a) requires all registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses to attest, when renewing licensure, that they have completed the continuing education requirements as established by the Board and required by the rule. Any falsification of information submitted during renewal may subject a licensee to disciplinary action pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:1-21 through 45:1-25.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3(b) requires registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses to complete 30 hours of continuing education every biennial period.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3(c) allows a registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse who completes more than 30 hours of continuing education in one biennial period to carry up to 15 of those additional hours into the succeeding biennial period.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3(d) outlines ways in which a registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse may obtain continuing education hours. A registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse may obtain one hour of continuing education for each 50 minutes spent in a continuing education course or program related to nursing and approved by a credentialing agency accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. A registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse may obtain five hours of continuing education for each credit completed in a course related to nursing given by a school, college or university accredited by the New Jersey Department of Education or an agency of another state with requirements substantially similar to the requirements of the New Jersey Department of Education. A registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse may obtain five hours of continuing education for each credit successfully completed in a doctoral degree program which has a research component. A registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse may obtain continuing education hours for teaching or developing the curriculum for a new continuing education program related to nursing or a new credit course related to nursing. According to the rule, "new" means that the registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse has never taught or developed curriculum for that course or program in any educational setting. The rule allocates one hour of continuing education for every 50 minutes taught in a new continuing education program and five hours for each credit taught in a new credit course. A registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse may obtain one hour of continuing education for every 50 minutes when presenting a new nursing related seminar or lecture to professional peer. Any such lecture must be at least 50 minutes long. A registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse who completes a doctoral dissertation will obtain 30 hours of continuing education. A registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse who authors a published textbook, a chapter of a published textbook or an article related to nursing, which has been refereed through peer review and is published in a medical, nursing or health related journal will receive continuing education hours; 15 hours for each chapter of a published textbook and each article. A registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse is limited to earning 30 hours a biennial period through authoring a published textbook, a chapter in a published textbook or an article. A registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse who completes a research project where the registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse is a primary or co-investigator and the research project has been approved by an institutional review board will receive 30 hours of continuing education. A registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse who develops new instructional materials related to nursing, such as a compact disc, ROM or videotape, will receive 15 hours of continuing education. A registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse is limited to earning 30 hours a biennial period through developing instructional materials. A registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse who acts as a preceptor for at least 100 hours as part of an organized preceptorship program will receive 10 hours of continuing education.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3(e) prevents a registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse from allocating hours to more than one topic outlined in subsection (d). For instance, a registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse who develops a course could earn either one hour pursuant to paragraph (d)4 or one hour pursuant to paragraph (d)5, but the registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse could not count one hour from paragraph (d)4 and one hour from paragraph (d)5 and then claim to have completed two hours for that biennial period.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3(f) allows the Board to perform random audits of registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses to determine if they are completing their continuing education requirements. Registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses are required to maintain documentation for four years proving completion of continuing education requirements and to submit such documentation to the Board upon request. The documentation registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses are required to maintain is: a certificate of completion for any programs or courses completed; a copy of the published item for publication of a textbook or article; a copy of the curriculum, location, date and time of course, duration of course by hour, and letter from provider confirming that the registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse developed or taught the course or program for developing curriculum or teaching a course or program; the location, date and duration of the lecture or seminar for presenting a lecture or seminar; a copy of the written materials regarding the project which lists the primary or co-investigators for a research project; a copy of the instructional materials for instructional material; or documentation maintained pursuant to an organized preceptorship program and a document designating the registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse as a preceptor for a preceptorship.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3(g) allows the Board to waive continuing education requirements for reasons of hardship such as illness, disability or military service. The rule requires a registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse seeking such a waiver to apply to the Board at least 90 days prior to license renewal. The application must be in writing and must set forth the reasons for the waiver. Any waiver of continuing education requirements is only valid for the biennial period in which it is granted. A registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse must apply to the Board for a renewal of the waiver if the conditions continue into a new biennial period.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3(h) allows the Board to order a registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse to complete continuing education as part of a disciplinary measure or to correct a deficiency in the licensee's continuing education.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3(i) states that any continuing education hours completed pursuant to subsection (h) cannot be used to satisfy the basic continuing education requirements set forth by N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3(j) states that registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses whose licenses expire on May 31, 2006 will be required to comply with the requirements of N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3 commencing with the 2008 renewal of licensure. Registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses whose licenses expire May 31, 2007 will be required to comply with the requirements of N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3 commencing with the 2009 renewal of licensure.

The Board proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.4 to correspond to the Board's new continuing education requirements. The last sentence of existing N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.4 is recodified as the first sentence in new subsection (b). In addition, new subsection (b) requires a registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse who changes status from inactive to active must complete 30 credits of continuing education which meets the requirements of N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3 within six months of changing status.

As the Board has provided a 60-day comment period on this notice of proposal, this notice is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5.

Social Impact

The proposed new rule and amendment ensure that licensed nurses maintain continuing proficiency in the use and application of new techniques and advancements in the profession which will benefit the public.

The proposed new rule affects registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses who must now commit time to complete the continuing education requirement and must maintain appropriate documentation. The proposed new rule, however, benefits registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses by assuring that they will enhance their knowledge of professional standards.

Economic Impact

The Board believes that the proposed new rule and amendment will have an economic impact upon its licensees since they will have to pay a fee for the continuing education courses that this rule requires them to take. The Board, however, does not impose nor control the fees for such courses and is unable to estimate what that cost will be.

Federal Standards Statement

A Federal standards statement is not required because there are no Federal standards or requirements applicable to the education requirements of the proposed new rule and amendment.

Jobs Impact

The Board believes that the proposed new rule and amendment may increase jobs in the State in that there may be a need for sponsors to hire instructors to teach continuing education courses. The Board does not anticipate that the proposed new rule and amendment will have any other impact on jobs.

Agriculture Industry Impact

The proposed new rule and amendment will not impact the agriculture industry of this State.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

If, for the purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., the individuals licensed by the Board are considered "small businesses," then the following analysis applies.

The Act requires the Board to set forth the reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance requirements of the proposal including the kinds of professional services likely to be needed to comply. The Act further requires the Board to estimate the initial and annual compliance costs of the proposal with an indication of the varying impact on small businesses of differing types and sizes and to outline the manner in which it has designed the rules to minimize any adverse economic impact upon small businesses.

The costs imposed on small businesses by the proposed new rule and amendment are the same costs that are imposed on all businesses as outlined in the Economic Impact statement above.

The Board does not believe that registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses will need to employ any professional services to comply with the requirements of the proposed new rule and amendment.

The new rule imposes several compliance, reporting and recordkeeping requirements on registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses. N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3 requires all registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses to take 30 hours of continuing education every biennial period and attest on the biennial license renewal form that they have completed the continuing education requirements. Subsection (f) of N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3 requires registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses to maintain records of continuing education completed for four years from the date of completion and to submit such records to the Board upon request. Registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses seeking a waiver of the continuing education requirements must apply to the Board at least 90 days prior to license renewal. The proposed amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.4 requires registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses who are changing from inactive to active status to register with the Board as active, pay the active biennial license fee and to complete 30 hours of continuing education within six months of changing status.

The Board believes that because the proposed new rule and amendment further the welfare and safety of the public in its dealings with nurses, by ensuring that the nurses have current knowledge as to the practice of nursing, the proposed amendment and proposed new rule must be applied uniformly to all registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses.

Smart Growth Impact

The Board does not anticipate that the proposed new rule and amendment will have any impact on the achievement of smart growth and implementation of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan, otherwise known as the State Plan.

Full text of the proposal follows :

<< NJ ADC 13:37-5.3 >>

13:37-5.3 <<-(Reserved)->> <<+Continuing education+>>

<<+(a) Upon biennial active license renewal, a registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse shall attest that he or she has completed courses of continuing education of the types and number of hours specified in (b), (c) and (d) below. Falsification of any information submitted on the renewal application may result in penalties and/or suspension or revocation of the license pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:1-21 through 45:1-25.+>>

<<+(b) Each applicant for biennial active license renewal shall complete during the preceding biennial period a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education.+>>

<<+(c) A registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse who completes more than the minimum continuing education hours set forth in (b) above in any biennial registration period may carry up to 15 of the additional hours into the succeeding biennial period.+>>

<<+(d) A registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse may obtain continuing education hours from the following:+>>

<<+1. Successful completion of continuing education courses or programs related to nursing and approved by a credentialing agency accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies: one hour for each 50 minutes of attendance;+>>

<<+2. Successful completion of a course, related to nursing, given by a school, college or university accredited by the New Jersey Department of Education or an agency of another state with requirements substantially similar to the requirements of the New Jersey Department of Education: five hours for each credit successfully completed;+>>

<<+3. Successful completion of a course in a doctoral degree program which has a research component: five hours for each credit successfully completed;+>>

<<+4. Teaching or developing the curriculum for a new continuing education program related to nursing that is approved pursuant to (d)1 above. "New" means that the registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse has never taught or developed curriculum for that course or program in any educational setting: one hour for each 50 minutes taught;+>>

<<+5. Teaching or developing the curriculum for a new course related to nursing in a school, college or university accredited by the New Jersey Department of Education or an agency of another state with requirements substantially similar to the requirements of the New Jersey Department of Education. "New" means that the registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse has never taught or developed curriculum for that course in any educational setting: five hours for each credit taught;+>>

<<+6. Authorship of a published textbook or a chapter of a published textbook related to nursing: 15 hours for each chapter up to 30 hours;+>>

<<+7. Completion of a doctoral dissertation: 30 hours;+>>

<<+8. Authorship of a published article related to nursing, which has been refereed through peer review, in a medical, nursing or health related journal: 15 hours per article up to 30;+>>

<<+9. Presenting a new seminar or lecture to professional peers related to nursing, provided the seminar or lecture is at least one hour long. "New" means that the registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse has never taught or developed curriculum for that seminar or lecture in any educational setting: one hour for each 50 minutes of presentation;+>>

<<+10. Completion of a research project where the registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse is a primary or co-investigator and the research project has been approved by an institutional review board: 30 hours;+>>

<<+11. Development of new instructional materials related to nursing such as a compact disc, ROM or videotape: 15 hours up to 30; and+>>

<<+12. Acting as a preceptor for at least 100 hours as part of an organized preceptorship program: 10 hours for the period during which the registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse acts as a preceptor.+>>

<<+(e) Continuing education hours that could be allocated to more than one of the options in (d) above shall only be counted once and shall not be allocated for more than one option. For instance, a course which could be awarded hours pursuant to (d)4 and 5 above shall only count as a course for either (d)4 or 5, but not both.+>>

<<+(f) The Board may perform audits on randomly selected registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses to determine compliance with continuing education requirements. A registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse shall maintain the following documentation for a period of four years after completion of the hours and shall submit such documentation to the Board upon request:+>>

<<+1. For attendance at programs or courses: a certificate of completion from the provider;+>>

<<+2. For publication of textbook or article: the published item, including the date of publication;+>>

<<+3. For teaching a course or program or developing curriculum: documentation, including a copy of the curriculum, location, date and time of course, duration of course by hour, and letter from provider confirming that the registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse developed or taught the course or program;+>>

<<+4. For presenting a lecture or seminar: documentation including the location, date and duration of the lecture or seminar;+>>

<<+5. For a research project: a copy of the written materials regarding the project which lists the primary or co-investigators;+>>

<<+6. For instructional material: a copy of the instructional materials; and+>>

<<+7. For a preceptorship: documentation maintained pursuant to the organized preceptorship program and a document designating the registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse as a preceptor.+>>

<<+(g) The Board may waive the continuing education requirements of this section on an individual basis for reasons of hardship, such as severe illness, disability, or military service.+>>

<<+1. A registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse seeking a waiver of the continuing education requirements shall apply to the Board in writing at least 90 days prior to license renewal and set forth in specific detail the reasons for requesting the waiver. The registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse shall provide the Board with such supplemental materials as will support the request for waiver.+>>

<<+2. A waiver of continuing education requirements granted pursuant to this subsection shall only be effective for the biennial period in which such waiver is granted. If the condition(s) which necessitated the waiver continue into the next biennial period, a registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse shall apply to the Board for the renewal of such waiver for the new biennial period.+>>

<<+(h) The Board may direct or order a registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse to successfully complete continuing education hours:+>>

<<+1. As part of a disciplinary or remedial measure in addition to the required 30 hours of continuing education; or+>>

<<+2. To correct a deficiency in the registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse's continuing education requirements.+>>

<<+(i) Any continuing education hours completed by the registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse in compliance with an order or directive from the Board as set forth in (h) above shall not be used to satisfy the minimum continuing education requirements as set forth in this section.+>>

<<+(j) Registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses whose licenses expire on May 31, 2006 shall comply with the requirements of (a) through (e) above commencing with the 2008 renewal of licensure. Registered professional nurses and licensed practical nurses whose licenses expire on May 31, 2007 shall comply with the requirements of (a) through (i) above commencing with the 2009 renewal of licensure.+>>

<< NJ ADC 13:37-5.4 >>

13:37-5.4 Categories of licenses

<<+(a) +>>Licenses shall be divided into two categories known as "active" and "inactive" licenses. All persons engaged in any type of nursing practice shall have an active license. An individual who is eligible for an active license but who is not engaged in any type of nursing practice may request an inactive license.

<<+(b) +>>Before engaging in nursing practice, a holder of an inactive license shall register with the Board as active and pay the active biennial license fee as set forth at N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.5(a). <<+A licensee who changes status from inactive to active shall submit evidence to the Board that he or she has completed 30 credits of continuing education which meets the requirements of N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3.+>>



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