DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Division of Professional Regulation

1900 Board of Nursing

Statutory Authority: 24 Delaware Code,

Section 1906(1) (24 Del.C. §1906(1))

24 DE Admin. Code 1900

PROPOSED

PUBLIC NOTICE

The Delaware Board of Nursing in accordance with 24 Del.C. Subsection 1906(1) has proposed to promulgate a change to the Rules and Regulations related to the reporting of continuing education.

The proposed change provides that nurses will be able to attest to the completion of the required number of contact hours by approved providers, rather than documenting date, program name, provider and number of contact hours.

A public hearing will be held on Wednesday, September 14, 2005 at 9:00 a.m., in the second floor conference room , 861 Silver Lake Boulevard, Dover, Delaware..

Anyone desiring a copy of the proposed Rules and Regulations may obtain a copy from the Delaware Board of Nursing, 861 Silver Lake Boulevard, Cannon Building, Suite 203, Dover, DE 19904, (302) 744-4515 or (302) 744-4516. Persons desiring to submit written comments concerning this proposed revision to the Board’s Rules and Regulations may forward these comments to the above address. The final date to receive written comments will be at the hearing on September 14, 2005

9.0 Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Mandatory Continuing Education

9.1 Definitions

9.1.1 The following words and terms, when used in this regulation, should have the following meaning unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

"Approved Method" means a planned educational experience, as described in 9.3.

"Approved Provider" means an entity that is one of the following:

A nationally accredited provider of nursing related continuing education; or

An organization or agency that is approved as a provider or has programs that are approved by a nationally accredited approver of nursing related continuing education; or

A Board of Nursing approved school of nursing; or

A staff development department within a licensed health care agency; or an accredited educational institution; or

An entity approved by the Delaware Board of Nursing, pursuant to 9.4 and 9.5, if not meeting any other criteria.

"Audit" means

The verification of completion of continuing education requirements for a minimum of 1% of the total number of licenses issued during a specified time period. (Refer to 9.6) or

The verification of adherence to continuing education approved provider requirements during a specified time period. Providers may be audited as the Board determines. (Refer to 9.7)

"Biennium" means the two year period of licensure beginning in an odd numbered year and ending in the next odd numbered year for the Registered Nurse and the two year period of licensure beginning in an even-numbered year and ending in the next even numbered year for the Licensed Practical Nurse.

"Contact Hour" means one contact hour equals a minimum of 50 minutes. One half contact hour equals a minimum of 25 minutes.

"Continuing Education" means those professional experiences designed to enrich the nurse's contribution to health care and for the purpose of protecting the public health, safety, and welfare.

"Orientation" means the means by which nurses are introduced to the philosophy, goals, policies, procedures, role expectations, physical facilities and special services in a specific work setting. Orientation programs do not meet the continuing education requirements of these rules.

9.2 Continuing Education Licensure Renewal Requirements

9.2.1 Board Authority

9.2.1.1 The Board derives its authority under 24 Del.C. §1906(19), to create continuing education requirements as a prerequisite to obtaining a current license and to establish an audit system to assure compliance. This requirement is in addition to the practice requirement as stated in 6.5.

9.2.1.1.1 During each biennium, each Registered Nurse must earn 30 contact hours and each Licensed Practical Nurse must earn 24 hours, to be credited to that biennium.

9.2.1.1.1.1 Units of measurement for continuing education shall be: no less than .5 contact hours and be as follows:

9.2.1.1.1.1.1 50 Minutes = 1 Contact Hour

9.2.1.1.1.1.2 25 Minutes = .5 Contact Hour

9.2.1.1.1.1.3 1 Academic Semester Hour (Credit) = 5 Contact Hours

9.2.1.1.1.1.4 1 C.M.E. = 1.2 Contact Hours

9.2.1.1.1.1.5 Certification/recertification (excluding preacquired skills and knowledge) = 20 Contact Hours (Only During the Biennium Awarded)

9.2.2 Requirements

9.2.2.1 Renewal

9.2.2.1.1 To obtain a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse license for the next biennium period, the licensee shall submit, along with the renewal application and fee, a completed report on a form furnished by the Board office, documenting attesting to the completion of all continuing education requirements for that biennium.

9.2.2.2 Reinstatement

9.2.2.2.2 To obtain a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse license through reinstatement, the applicant shall submit, along with the reinstatement application and fee, a completed report on a form provided by the Board office, documenting attesting to the completion of all continuing education requirements for the past two years.

9.2.2.3 Reinstatement/Endorsement

9.2.2.3.1 A Registered Nurse who has endorsed into Delaware during a biennium or whose license was reactivated or reinstated during a biennium must earn 15 contact hours if more than a full calendar year remains in the biennium to obtain a Registered Nurse license for the next biennium period. A Licensed Practical Nurse must earn 12 contact hours if more than a full calendar year remains in the biennium to obtain a Licensed Practical Nurse license for the next biennium period.

9.2.3 The required hours shall be completed in the period for which the license was issued. Contact hours from a previous licensure period will not count nor may credits be accumulated for use in a future licensing period.

9.2.4 To be approved for continuing education credit, offerings shall meet the qualifications of appropriate subject matter as specified in these Rules and Regulations.

9.2.5 The licensee shall retain all original certificates or transcripts to verify completion of each continuing education offering and award of contact hours.

9.2.6 Exceptions

9.2.6.1 Those persons licensed by examination within a biennial renewal period are exempt from continuing education requirements for that biennium.

9.2.6.2 A licensee who has had a physical or mental illness during the license period can apply to the Board of Nursing for a waiver. A waiver would provide for an extension of time or exemption from some or all of the continuing education requirements for one renewal period. Should the illness extend beyond one renewal period, a new request must be submitted.

9.2.6.3 A request for a waiver will be reviewed and acted upon within 90 days of receipt.

9.3 Approved Methods to Earn Contact Hours

9.3.1 Academic Studies

9.3.1.1 A course offered by an accredited school, university or college for which college credit has been awarded and/or for which class attendance is necessary. May include successful completion of challenge examinations.

9.3.2 Authoring an Article, Book Chapter, or Independent Study

9.3.2.1 The article, book chapter, or independent study (See 9.3.6) must be related to nursing. Proof of acceptance from the editor or the published work will document achievement of this type of continuing education. A maximum of five contact hours of continuing education may be earned per biennium by this method. Letters to the editor or opinion statements will not be recognized.

9.3.3 Certification/Recertification

9.3.3.1 A process by which a nongovernmental agency or association certifies that an individual licensed to practice as an Advanced Practice Nurse, a Registered Nurse, or a Licensed Practical Nurse has met certain predetermined standards specified for specialty practice. National certification or recertification equals 20 contact hours awarded during the biennium. A certification/recertification document indicating the date of recognition must be available. When recertification requirements include more than 20 contact hours, the additional contact hours can be applied toward the total of 30 contact hours for R.N. or 24 contact hours for L.P.N. licensure.

9.3.4 Conference

9.3.4.1 A meeting that brings together participants for one or more days to discuss the latest developments and activities from individuals with special expertise in the subject matter of the conference.

9.3.5 Extension Studies

9.3.5.1 A course given through an accredited school, college or university for which academic credit may or may not be awarded and for which class attendance is not necessary.

9.3.6 Independent Study

9.3.6.1 An educational activity designed for completion by learners, independently, at the learner's own pace and at a time of the learner's choice.

9.3.6.1.1 Examples: Articles in journals, videocassette programs, computer programs for which there is a test of knowledge and a certificate awarded upon completion.

9.3.7 Inservice Education

9.3.7.1 Activities intended to help nurses acquire, maintain, and/or increase the level of competence in fulfilling his or her assigned responsibilities, specific to the expectations of the employer. Planned inservices must be a minimum of 25 minutes. Mandatory education, such as CPR, infection control, fire, safety, and facility specific policies and practices, is not recognized as continuing education.

9.3.8 Presentation

9.3.8.1 Educational presentations, excluding preparation time, made to other health professionals that are not required by an individual’s job description. The presenter must submit program brochures, course syllabi or letter from the provider identifying the participation of the presenter. Contact hours shall be equal to the actual presentation time. A maximum of five contact hours of continuing education may be earned per biennium by this method.

9.3.9 Research Project

9.3.9.1 The research project must have been done during the biennium. The licensee must submit an abstract as evidence of being one of the recognized researchers. A maximum of five contact hours of continuing education may be earned per biennium by this method.

9.3.10 Symposium or Seminar

9.3.10.1 A meeting of groups of participants to explore, in depth, a pre-selected, thoroughly researched topic. The emphasis is on discussion and a free exchange of ideas and experiences.

9.3.11 Workshop

9.3.11.1 A meeting that offers opportunities for persons with common interest or problems to meet with specialists to consider new knowledge and practices and to experience working on specific relevant tasks.

9.3.12 Any method not on this approved list will require that a written petition justifying the request be submitted to the Board of Nursing.

9.3.12.1 The Board may consider the request at its next regularly scheduled Board meeting if received at least two weeks before the meeting. If less than two weeks, the request will be processed at the following meeting.

9.4 Continuing Education - Provider

9.4.1 Board Authority

9.4.1.1 The Board derives its authority under 24 Del.C. Ch. 19, to create requirements for becoming an approved provider and maintaining that status. The Board also has the authority to develop an auditing mechanism to verify compliance with criteria for approved providers.

9.4.2 Criteria for approved providers

9.4.2.1 The approved providers shall produce evidence of their capability to adhere to criteria indicative of quality continuing education for nurses. Each provider approved under 9.1, will be assigned a provider number by the Board and shall provide an annual statement of compliance with these criteria.

9.4.3 Subject matter criteria. The provider will ensure that:

9.4.3.1 The subject matter is specifically designed to meet the objectives, the stated level and learning needs of the participants.

9.4.3.2 The content is planned, logically sequenced and reflects input from experts in the subject matter.

9.4.3.3 The subject matter reflects the professional educational needs of the learner in order to meet the health care needs of the consumer.

9.4.4 Criteria related to the operation of an approved continuing education providership. The provider shall:

9.4.4.1 Have a consistent, identifiable authority who has overall responsibility for the operation of the providership and execution of its offerings.

9.4.4.2 Have an organizational structure and training objectives.

9.4.4.3 Develop course descriptions, objectives, and learning outcomes.

9.4.4.4 Assign contact hours according to a uniform measure of credit and not award contact hours for less than 25 minutes.

9.4.4.5 Establish dates and times for programs.

9.4.4.6 Plan and structure programs with teaching and learning methodologies that include a statement of purpose and measurable educational objectives.

9.4.4.7 Use faculty who have academic preparation and/or experience in the subject matter.

9.4.4.8 Use evaluation processes or tools that provide participants an opportunity to evaluate in writing the learning experience, the instructional methods, facilities, and resources.

9.4.4.9 Award the contact hours and be responsible for assurance that all criteria in this chapter are met, when co-providing.

9.4.4.10 Notify the Board within 30 days of changes in the administrative authority, the address of the provider, and its ability to meet the criteria.

9.4.5 Criteria related to record maintenance and continuing education programs. The provider shall:

9.4.5.1 Maintain records on persons awarded contact hours for a minimum of six years from their date of program completion. The records shall include the name of licensee, contact hours awarded, social security number, title, and dates of offerings.

9.4.5.2 Provide for secure storage and retrieval of individual attendance and information regarding each offering.

9.4.5.3 Furnish each participant with an individual record of completion that displays the following on the front of the certificate: participant's name, provider name and number, contact hours awarded, starting and ending dates of the offering, subject matter and a reminder to the participant to retain the certificate for the period of licensure.

9.5 Board Approval Process for Providers from 9.1.

9.5.1 An application will be sent to a potential provider upon request. Upon submission of a non-refundable fee, the required materials and a determination of the Delaware Board of Nursing that the materials fulfill the criteria for providers as specified in these Rules and Regulations, initial approval will be granted for up to three years.

9.5.2 The following materials and information must accompany an application:

9.5.2.1 A description of the administrative authority of the potential provider;

9.5.2.2 The job description of the person who is administratively responsible for provider activities;

9.5.2.3 The continuing education philosophy purpose and goals;

9.5.2.4 Organizational charts defining lines of authority and communication in relation to continuing education;

9.5.2.5 Plan for faculty selection;

9.5.2.6 Evidence of nursing participation in program planning and/or administration;

9.5.2.7 A record system and a procedure to ensure confidentiality and safe storage;

9.5.2.8 The criteria used to plan and implement continuing education activities;

9.5.2.9 The criteria used to verify attendance;

9.5.2.10 A procedure that ensures the participant who successfully completes an educational activity will receive a document displaying an attendance record, number of contact hours awarded, provider name and number, title of presentation, and the date and location for each offering;

9.5.2.11 Registration procedure(s);

9.5.2.12 A plan for evaluation, including:

9.5.2.12.1 A procedure for participant evaluation that includes assessment of the instruction, resources and facilities, and

9.5.2.12.2 A system for the follow up of suggestions for improvement;

9.5.2.13 Documents from two typical sample course offerings including:

9.5.2.13.1 A narrative of the planning of the offerings including evidence of nursing participation;

9.5.2.13.2 A sample brochure or other form of advertising;

9.5.2.13.3 Course content, i.e., topical course outline, objectives;

9.5.2.13.4 Teaching-learning methodologies and supportive materials;

9.5.2.13.5 Bibliography; and

9.5.2.13.6 A sample participant evaluation form.

9.5.3 The Executive Director will review the completed application upon receipt.

9.5.3.1 The review is based on the criteria as specified in these Rules and Regulations.

9.5.3.2 If the Executive Director finds the application incomplete, the applicant will be notified and have two opportunities to submit revised applications.

9.5.3.3 If the application does not meet established criteria within three reviews, the Executive Director may recommend that the Board deny it.

9.5.3.4 When the application meets all requirements as set forth for providers in these Rules and Regulations, the Executive Director shall recommend approval to the Board.

9.5.3.5 The Board may approve for up to three years, or elect not to approve.

9.5.3.6 The provider will be notified of the Board of Nursing's decision in writing within two weeks.

9.5.3.7 A provider number will be assigned at the time of approval and issued within three weeks. This number must be used in all correspondence with the Board. This number will be published on a list of approved providers.

9.5.3.8 An application that has been denied provider status by the Board may be re-submitted one year after the denial date.

9.5.4 Complaints against providers.

9.5.4.1 Provider approval may be rescinded at any time during the approved period for noncompliance with approved provider requirements or for complaints that the Board determines indicate the program does not meet criteria.

9.5.4.2 Providers may appeal a decision by requesting a hearing before the Board.

9.6 Audit of Licensees

9.6.1 The Board will randomly and on an individual basis select licensees for audit two months prior to renewal in any biennium. The Board shall notify the licensees that their records are to be audited for compliance with the continuing education requirements.

9.6.1.1 Upon receipt of such notice, the licensee must submit verification of compliance for the period of licensure being audited. Verification materials which may be requested include proof of attendance, academic transcripts, certificates showing number of contact hours awarded, and documentation of compliance with exceptions.

9.6.1.2 The licensee must submit documentation within three weeks of receipt of notice.

9.6.1.3 The Board shall notify the licensee of the results of the audit immediately following the Board meeting at which the audits are reviewed.

9.6.1.4 An unsatisfactory audit shall result in Board action.

9.6.1.5 Failure to notify the Board of a change in mailing address will not absolve the licensee from audit requirements.

9.6.1.6 Fulfillment of the audit requirements must be completed prior to license renewal.

9.7 Audit of Providers

9.7.1 The Board may select approved providers for audit. Upon selection, the Board shall:

9.7.1.1 Notify the approved providers that their records are to be audited for compliance with continuing education requirements;

9.7.1.2 Be provided with records that document compliance with the Rules and Regulations for providers; and

9.7.1.3 Conduct a site visit as necessary.

9.8 Disciplinary Proceedings; Appeal

9.8.1 Failure to comply with continuing education requirements will result in action under Section 1922 of the Nurse Practice Act and the license will be considered lapsed.

9.8.2 Application for reinstatement of a lapsed license must be filed with a completed continuing education document form and the fee paid before practice can continue.

*Please Note: As the rest of the sections were not amended, they are not being published. A complete set of the rules and regulations for the Board of Nursing is available at:

http://dpr.delaware.gov/boards/nursing/index.shtml

9 DE Reg. 226 (08/01/05) (Prop.)