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New Rules for Nurse Competency Requirements

by Jan Novosad, BSN, RN, LNCC on November 11th, 2010

The Texas State Board of Nurse Examiners (“TSBNE” or “Board”) implemented new rules pertaining to nurse competency requirements in 2009 and 2010 (22 TAC §216). TSBNE considers “the completion of appropriate continuing education to be an essential method of demonstrating a nurse’s ability to safely practice nursing.” TSBNE Board Meeting, July 23-24, 2009, Proposed Adoption of Repeal of 22 TAC §216.

Effective October 4, 2010, a nurse must meet one of the following to fulfill continuing competency requirements for license renewal:

  • Complete 20 contact hours of continuing education within the two years immediately preceding renewal of registration in his or her area of practice by participation in programs approved by a credentialing agency recognized by the Board; or
  • Demonstrate the achievement, maintenance, or renewal of a Board approved national nursing certification in the nurse’s area of practice.

In 1991, TSBNE enacted rules requiring nurses to complete 20 contact hours of continuing education every two years for relicensure. In 2009, TSBNE proposed revisions to the continuing education requirements, focusing on whether the hours needed to be in the nurse’s area of practice. The Board adopted proposed requirements without the “area of practice” provision, effective August 16, 2009. After further study by TSBNE subcommittees, the Board voted to amend the rule to include “area of practice.” TSBNE believes the new continuing education requirements are “consistent with its mission to protect and promote patient safety and welfare by ensuring that each person holding a license as a nurse in the State of Texas is competent to practice safely.”

For additional information see:
Texas Board of Nursing – Continuing Competency Requirements
22 TAC §216

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From → Health Law