In many states, nurses, like physicians, accountants, lawyers etc. must complete continuing education requirements in order to continue to hold a professional license. Because direct contact with patients can also result in life or death, wrongful medication administration etc. all nurses must follow specific legislation when practicing. While Arizona does not currently require continuing education for LPNs and RNs, legislation is currently in the works to mandate 20 hours of continuing education. In fact, more than 30 states already require nursing continuing education, including Texas. As a practicing nurse in Arizona or Texas, it’s important you understand your state’s Nurse Practice Act and practice requirements.
Nurse Practice Requirements
Nurses must follow certain requirements to renew their license. In Arizona, the nurses must meet requirements that the Arizona Board of Nursing provides. Any nurse renewing his or her license must meet one of the practice requirements listed here:
- 960 hours or more of practice within the last five years.
- He or she graduated from a nursing program and received a degree in the past five years.
- Completion of a Arizona Board-approved refresher course within the past five years.
- The nurse has received an advanced nursing degree in the last five years such as going from a LPN to an RN, RN to a BSN or obtained a Masters or Doctorate.
In Texas, a nurse can renew their license unless one of the following occurs:
- The nurse has defaulted on a Texas Guaranteed Student Loan (TGSL)
- Has not met the mandatory continuing nursing education (CNE) requirements and/or has been selected for a CNE Audit. The board must receive proof of continuing nursing education in order for the license to be released or renewed.
- The Nurse has been selected for a Criminal Background Check (CBC) and they have not yet completed the process.
- License number and/or last four digits of the Social Security Number (SSN) entered do not match the information on the Board’s files
- The license is Delinquent or on Inactive Status
These activities constitute nursing practice:
- Supervising care of a patient
- Teaching nursing
- Volunteering with a nursing organization
- Doing health screenings
- Experience in a clinical setting
It’s important to note, caring for family members does not qualify as nursing practice.
Nurse Practice Act
Every state in the U.S. has Nurse Practice Act legislation. This act gives the Board of Nursing authority to make rules and regulations to govern all nurses and ensure they are providing safe and ethical care to all patients. Each state has their own board of nursing a nurse must answer to. In Arizona, nurses can learn about nursing laws and regulations by visiting their Board of Nursing page here. While Texas nurses can find their Nurse Practice Act here. Remember, safe nursing is grounded in the Nurse Practice Act and its rules.
Learn about how Chelle Law assists nurses with application requirements, self reporting and more,