NEW JERSEY REGISTER
VOLUME 40, ISSUE 7
ISSUE DATE: APRIL 7, 2008
LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
DIVISION OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
NEW JERSEY BOARD OF NURSING
Proposed Amendment: 13:37-5.3
Authorized By: State Board of Nursing, George Hebert, Executive Director.
Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:11-24.
Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.
Proposal Number: PRN 2008-89.
Submit written comments by June 6, 2008 to:
George Hebert, Executive Director
State Board of Nursing
PO Box 45010
Newark, New Jersey 07101
The agency proposal follows:
On May 1, 2006, N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3 became effective. This rule requires nurses to complete continuing education as a pre-requisite for license renewal. The rule sets forth specific methods by which nurses may satisfy the continuing education requirement. The Board has received some comments from the public requesting that the Board recognize courses that would not qualify as valid continuing education courses under the existing rule. The Board has reviewed these requests and has determined that it is appropriate to amend N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3 to recognize courses provided by providers authorized by the International Association for Continuing Education Training. The Board is also amending the rule to recognize continuing medical education courses recognized by the American Medical Association, the American Osteopathic Association or the American Podiatric Medical Association and pharmaceutical continuing education courses offered by a provider approved by the American Council of Pharmaceutical Education. The Board has also clarified that any course completed as a student enrolled in an accredited nursing degree program constitutes a course that is related to nursing and is therefore eligible for continuing education credit.
Existing N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3 recognizes 50 minutes of attendance in a continuing education course as worth one hour of continuing education credit. The Board proposes to amend this rule so that 60 minutes of attendance in a continuing education course will count as one hour of continuing education credit. This amendment is consistent with national standards for nurse continuing education.
The Board has determined that the comment period for this proposal will be 60 days; therefore, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5, this proposal is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement.
The Board believes that the proposed amendments will have a positive impact on nurses. Increasing the number of courses that qualify for continuing education credit will make it less burdensome for nurses to comply with continuing education requirements. The Board believes that these courses provide nurses with valuable education, which will enhance their professional competency. Amending N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3 so that one hour of continuing education credit will be assigned for every 60 minutes of attendance in a continuing education course may impact nurses. Nurses will have to spend more time in a course in order to obtain an hour of continuing education credit. This amendment is in keeping with national standards.
Amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3 that increase the amount of class time that is equal to an hour of continuing education credit may impose costs on nurses. Nurses may have to spend more time in class, or attend more classes, in order to obtain the required hours of continuing education. Nurses will be required to bear the costs of obtaining these hours. The Board does not believe that the proposed amendments will have any other economic impact.
Federal Standards Statement
A Federal standards analysis is not required because there are no Federal laws or standards applicable to the proposed amendments.
The proposed amendments will not increase or decrease the number of jobs in New Jersey.
Agriculture Industry Impact
The Board does not believe that the proposed amendments will have any impact on the agriculture industry of this State.
Regulatory Flexibility Statement
Since nurses are individually licensed by the Board, they may be considered "small businesses" under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (the Act), N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq. The proposed amendments do not impose compliance, reporting or recordkeeping requirements, therefore a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.
Smart Growth Impact
The Board does not anticipate that the proposed amendments will have any impact on the achievement of smart growth and implementation of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan, otherwise known as the State Plan.
Full text of the proposal follows (additions indicated in boldface thus; deletions indicated in brackets [thus]):
13:37-5.3 Continuing education
(a)-(c) (No change.)
(d) A registered professional nurse or licensed practical nurse may obtain continuing education hours from the following:
1. Successful completion of continuing education courses or programs related to nursing and approved by a credentialing agency accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies or provided by an International Association for Continuing Education Training (IACET) Authorized Provider: one hour for each  60 minutes of attendance;
2. Successful completion of continuing medical education courses recognized by the American Medical Association, the American Osteopathic Association or the American Podiatric Medical Association: one hour for each 60 minutes of attendance:
3. Successful completion of a continuing education course offered by a provider approved by the American Council of Pharmaceutical Education: one hour for each 60 minutes of attendance;
[2.] 4. Successful completion of a course, related to nursing, given by a school, college or university accredited by the New Jersey Department of Education or an agency of another state with requirements substantially similar to the requirements of the New Jersey Department of Education. Courses related to nursing include courses taken as a student enrolled in an accredited nursing degree program when the student is obtaining a higher degree: five hours for each credit successfully completed;
Recodify existing 3.-12. as 5.-14. (No change in text.)
(e)-(j) (No change.)