APRNs applying for license renewal must complete continuing education activities as a condition of license renewal. Registration periods begin when the licensee renews a license after October 1, 2014. For example, when a licensee with an expiration date of October 31, 2014, renews the license, the continuing education requirements must be satisfied when the licensee renews in October, 2016.
APRNs shall earn a minimum of fifty (50) contact hours of continuing education within the preceding twenty-four (24) month period. Continuing education shall be in an area of the APRN’s practice; reflect the professional needs of the licensee in order to meet the health care needs of the public; include at least five (5) contact hours of training or education in pharmacotherapeutics; and include at least one contact hour of training or education in each of the following topics: (A) diseases, including, but not limited to, acquired immune deficiency syndrome and human immunodeficiency virus, (B) risk management, (C) sexual assault, (D) domestic violence, (E) cultural competency, and (F) substance abuse, including, but not limited to, prescribing controlled substances and pain management; and (G) on and after January 1, 2016, include not less than two contact hours of training or education during the first renewal period in which continuing education is required and not less than once every six years thereafter on the topic of mental health conditions common to veterans and family members of veterans, including determining whether a patient is a veteran or family member of a veteran, screening for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, risk of suicide, depression and grief, and suicide prevention training.
Qualifying continuing education activities include, but are not limited to, courses, including on-line courses, offered or approved by the American Nurses Association, Connecticut Hospital Association, Connecticut Nurses Association, Connecticut League for Nursing, a specialty nursing society or an equivalent organization in another jurisdiction, an educational offering sponsored by a hospital or other health care institution or a course offered by a regionally accredited academic institution or a state or local health department.
The Department may grant a waiver of not more than ten (10) contact hours of continuing education for an APRN who engages in activities related to the APRN’s service as a member of the Connecticut State Board of Examiners for Nursing, or who assists the department with its duties to boards and commissions as described in section 19a-14 of the general statutes.
Each APRN applying for license renewal shall attest that he or she has satisfied the continuing education requirements. Such APRN shall retain records of attendance or certificates of completion that demonstrate compliance with the mandatory continuing education requirements for a minimum of three (3) years following the year in which the continuing education activities were completed and shall submit such records or certificates to the department for inspection not later than forty-five (45) days after a request by the department for such records or certificates.
An APRN applying for the first time for license renewal is exempt from the continuing education requirements.
An APRN who is not engaged in active professional practice in any form during a registration period may be exempt from the continuing education requirements of this section, provided the licensee submits to the department, prior to the expiration of the registration period, a notarized application for exemption.
An APRN who is exempt from the continuing education requirements for less than two (2) years shall complete twenty-five (25) contact hours of continuing education that meets the criteria described above within the twelve (12) month period immediately preceding the licensee's return to active professional practice. The application for exemption shall contain a statement that the licensee may not engage in professional practice until the licensee has met these requirements.
In individual cases involving medical disability or illness, the Department, may grant a waiver of the continuing education requirements or an extension of time within which to fulfill the continuing education requirements to an APRN, provided the APRN submits an application for waiver or extension of time form, along with a certification by a licensed physician, physician assistant or advanced practice registered nurse of the disability or illness.
The Department may grant a waiver or extension for a period not to exceed one registration period, except that an additional waiver or extension may be granted if the medical disability or illness upon which a waiver or extension is granted continues beyond the period of the waiver or extension and the licensee applies for an additional waiver or extension.
An APRN whose license has become void pursuant to section 19a-88 of the general statutes and who applies to the department for reinstatement of such license pursuant to section 19a-14 of the general statutes shall submit evidence documenting successful completion of twenty-five (25) contact hours of continuing education within the one (1) year period immediately preceding application for reinstatement.