VHCA to Offer Continuing Education for Nurses

Final regulations were published on Monday, June 17th requiring continuing competency courses or activities in order to renew an active license as a registered nurse or a practical nurse each biennium.  The requirement for licensed nurses to participate in continuing education becomes effective on August 1, 2013.

The options available include a refresher course, a post-licensure academic course, current specialty certification, research and teaching, active practice for 640 hours and 15 hours of courses, or 30 hours of approved courses.  The entities and organizations that can recognize or approve a continuing education provider are listed in the regulation.  Courses offered by VHCA as “a health care provider association” were added to the listing of approved providers of continuing education for RNs and LPNs.

The regulations provide an exemption for nurses who have an active license as a nurse practitioner and for the second license if someone is licensed as an RN and LPN.  Finally, the regulation includes a requirement for documentation of completion to be maintained for two years following.  The regulation specifies that “evidence of contact hours of continuing learning activities or courses shall include the name of the licensee, title of educational activity, name of the provider, number of contact hours, and date of activity”, all of which are included in the certificate of attendance for individuals participating in VHCA’s education programs.