The Arizona Board of Nursing Continuing Education Requirements are non-existent for licensed nursing assistants (LNA), licensed practical nurses (LPN) and registered nurses (RN). Meaning, the Arizona Board of Nursing (“Board“) does not require any Arizona nurses to complete continuing education on an annual basis. However, attempts are being made by Arizona legislators to mandate 20 hours of continuing education per year for each licensed RN and LPN. Currently, over 30 states currently require some kind of continuing education for licensed nurses. Nurses can take continuing education on topics such as clinical practice, leadership and supervisory positions, policies and procedures. There are new continuing education classes that focus on professionalism topics like bullying, discrimination, workplace aggression and the appropriate use of social media.
Purpose of Continuing Education for Nurses
The intended goal of continuing education for nurses is to enhance the professional competence of the provider with the hope of improved health care. Continuing education can provide the latest developments in patient care and provides the nurse with the opportunity to learn and advance their own skills and techniques. However, the Board has taken the position that continuing education has no proven benefit to aid in patient care. One could argue that additional continuing education for Arizona nurses could help the current licensed nurses avoid disciplinary action. Although, the Board doesn’t require continuing education, the Board does require that any licensed LNA, RN or LPN complete 960 hours of practice in a 5 year period to renew or obtain licensure. The Board has stated that the following activities constitute practice:
- Teaching nursing
- Supervising care
- Clinical experience
- Volunteering with a nursing organization
- Health screenings
- Caring for family members does not qualify as practice
Arizona New Grad Nursing Refresher Course
New graduates must be licensed within 2 years of graduation or they must complete a refresher course once NCLEX has been passed. These Arizona laws do not supersede the continuing education requirements for some national certification bodies like the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA).
If you have a question about Arizona Board of Nursing Continuing Education Requirements contact Chelle Law.