(a)  Definitions.

(1)           Continuing education in nursing means a planned, organized learning experience, taken after completion of a basic nursing program, that prepares a nurse to perform advanced skills. Types of learning experiences that may be considered continuing education as defined in Subparagraph (a)(3) of this Rule include:

(A)          a non‑degree oriented program;

(B)          courses or components of courses in an academic degree‑oriented program; or

(C)          an advanced academic degree‑granting program that prepares a registered nurse for advanced practice as a clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, or nurse practitioner.

(2)           Programs offering an educational experience designed to enhance the practice of nursing mean those that include one or more of the following:

(A)          enrichment of nursing knowledge;

(B)          development or change of nursing practice attitudes; or

(C)          acquisition or improvement of nursing skills.

(3)           Programs that teach nurses advanced skills mean those that include:

(A)          skills not generally included in the basic educational preparation of the nurse; and

(B)          a period of instruction sufficient to assess or provide necessary knowledge from the physical, biological, or behavioral and social sciences and includes supervised clinical practice to ensure that the nurse is able to practice the skill safely and properly.

(4)           Student status means the status granted to an individual who does not hold a North Carolina nursing license but who participates in a clinical component of a continuing education program in North Carolina if:

(A)          the individual possesses an active unencumbered license to practice nursing in a jurisdiction other than North Carolina;

(B)          the course offering meets one of the following criteria:

(i)            is part of an academic degree‑granting nursing program that has approval in a jurisdiction other than North Carolina or national accreditation; or

(ii)           is offered through an in‑state academic institution that has Board approval for basic nursing education programs or national accreditation for advanced nursing education programs; or

(iii)          is approved by the Board as a continuing education offering, thereby meeting the criteria defined in Paragraph (b) of this Rule;

(C)          the individual receives supervision by a qualified preceptor or member of the faculty who has a valid license to practice as a registered nurse in North Carolina;

(D)          the course of instruction has a specified period of time not exceeding 12 months;

(E)           the individual is not employed in nursing practice in North Carolina during participation in the program; and

(F)           the Board has been given advance notice of the name of each student, the jurisdiction in which the student is licensed, the license number, and the license expiration date.

(b)  Criteria for voluntary approval of continuing education programs in nursing.

(1)           Planning an educational program shall include:

(A)          definition of learner population, such as registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, or both;

(B)          identification of characteristics of the learner, such as clinical area of practice, place of employment, and position; and

(C)          assessment of needs of the learner, such as specific requests from individuals or employers, pre‑tests, or audits of patient records.

(2)           Objectives shall:

(A)          be measurable and stated in behavioral terms;

(B)          reflect the needs of the learners;

(C)          state desired outcomes;

(D)          serve as criteria for the selection of content, learning experiences, and evaluation of achievement;

(E)           be achievable within the time allotted; and

(F)           be applicable to nursing.

(3)           Content shall:

(A)          relate to required by Subparagraph (b)(2) of this Paragraph;

(B)          reflect input by qualified faculty; and

(C)          contain learning experiences appropriate to objectives.

(4)           Teaching methodologies shall:

(A)          use pertinent educational principles;

(B)          provide adequate time for each learning activity; and

(C)          include informing participants of the course objectives required by Subparagraph (b)(2) of this Paragraph.

(5)           Resources shall include:

(A)          faculty who have knowledge and experience necessary to assist the participants in meeting the program objectives and are in sufficient number not to exceed a faculty-participant ratio in a clinical practicum of 1:10. If higher ratios are desired, sufficient justification shall be provided to the Board; and

(B)          physical facilities that ensure that appropriate clinical resources and adequate and appropriate equipment and space are available.

(6)           Evaluation shall be conducted:

(A)          by the provider to assess the participant's achievement of program objectives and content. This evaluation shall be documented; and

(B)          by the participant in order to assess the program and resources.

(7)           Records shall be maintained by the provider for a period of three years and shall include a summary of program evaluations, a roster of participants, and the course outline. The provider shall award a certificate to each participant who successfully completes the program.

(c)  Approval process.

(1)           The provider shall:

(A)          make application on forms provided by the Board no less than 60 days prior to the proposed enrollment date;

(B)          present written documentation as specified in (b)(1) through (b)(7) of this Rule; and

(C)          notify the Board of any significant changes relative to (b)(1) through (b)(7) of this Rule, such as changes in faculty or total program hours.

(2)           Approval shall be granted for a two-year period. A request to offer an approved program by anyone other than the original provider shall be made to the Board.

(3)           If a course is not approved, the provider may appeal in writing for reconsideration within 30 days after notification of the disapproval. If the course is not approved upon reconsideration, the provider may request, within 10 days, a hearing at the next regularly-scheduled meeting of the Board or no later than 90 days from the date of request, whichever shall come first.

(4)           Site visits may be made by the Board as appropriate to determine compliance with the criteria as specified in Paragraph (b) of this Rule.

(5)           The Board shall withdraw approval from a provider if the provider does not successfully achieve course outcomes or if there is misrepresentation of facts within the application for approval.

(6)           Approval of continuing education programs shall be included in published reports of Board actions. A list of approved programs shall be posted on the Board's website at www.ncbon.com.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 90‑171.23(b); 90‑171.42;

Eff. January 1, 1984;

Amended Eff. October 1, 1992; October 1, 1991; October 1, 1989; January 1, 1989;

Readopted Eff. January 1, 2019.