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Dec 31 2008

A review of significant NP rule changes

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Several changes to administrative rules that affect nurse practitioners took effect in 2008, including important new requirements for CME and annual renewal of NP approval. These are summarized below.

Annual Renewal
Beginning January 1, 2009, NP approval must be renewed annually by the last day of the NP’s birth month. There will be NO grace period.

Continuing Education
The continuing education rule for NPs (21 NCAC 36 .0807, 21 NCAC 32M .0107) was amended effective April 1, 2008. It now states that NPs must have 50 contact hours of continuing education each year beginning with the first renewal after initial approval to practice has been granted. This replaces the requirement of 100 hours every two years. Continuing education contact hours are those hours for which approval has been granted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), Accreditation Council on Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), other national credentialing bodies or practice relevant courses in an institution of higher learning.

Effective January 1, 2009, hours spent as a preceptor of NP students are NOT considered continuing education hours for the purpose of compliance with the continuing education rule. NP continuing education must be officially approved nursing or medical continuing education credits such as seminars, workshops, conferences and presentations that award continuing education contact hours.

The Board of Nursing and the Medical Board approved changes in the NP rules at their September meetings to improve clarity and to allow for the new online application processes. The following changes became effective on November 1, 2008:
  • NP Registration – 21 NCAC 36 .0803, 21 NCAC 32M .0103 (b)(1) add “or higher” degree

  • Process for Approval to Practice – 21 NCAC 36 .0804, 21 NCAC 32M .0104 (a)(2) technical change to allow for online application process

  • Annual Renewal – 21 NCAC 36 .0806, 21 NCAC 32M .0106 (c) change approval to expire on the last day of the NPs birth month.

  • Prescribing Authority – 21 NCAC 36 .0809, 21 NCAC 32M .0109 (b)(6) delete as same is included in (b)(7)(A);(b)(7)(A) technical change for clarity and (c) add “other than samples”

  • Fees – 21 NCAC 36 .0813, 21 NCAC 32M .0115 (a) technical change for consistency with (b)
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