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Continuing Nursing Education Audit Procedure to Change This Summer

Date Created: Sat, 15 Jun 2013 11:00:00 CST

The Texas Board of Nursing (BON) is changing the process for continuing nursing education (CNE) audits. Beginning July 15, 2013, the BON will adopt a paperless system to receive documents related to continuing nursing education audit requirements. The new system will allow the BON to evaluate CNE documents submitted by nurses for audit compliance, contact nurses by e-mail concerning deficiencies or questions relating to the CNE documents, and electronically notify nurses when all audit requirements have been met.

The BON will notify nurses selected for CNE audit by US mail twelve weeks prior to nurse license expiration. A toll-free telephone number will be established to assist individuals with questions about the audit process. All requested audit documents must be submitted by fax to the BON for processing.

All nurses with an active Texas license are required to demonstrate continuing competency through completion of courses eligible for CNE credit. In 1991, rules were adopted requiring nurses to complete 20 contact hours of CNE every two years for relicensure. CNE courses are defined as programs beyond the basic nursing preparation that are designed to promote and enrich knowledge, improve skills, and develop attitudes for the enhancement of nursing practice, thus improving health care to the public [22 TAC 216.1 (12)].

In 2009, rules were adopted to allow nurses to demonstrate competency through achievement of an approved national nursing certification in the nurses area of practice or completion of 20 contact hours of CNE. In 2010, rule changes required contact hours to be in the nurses area of practice.

The BON conducts random audits of nurses renewing their licenses each month. Individuals selected for CNE audit will submit their audit documents by fax or mail. Currently, BON staff responsible for CNE audits must sort through a wide range of correspondence faxed and mailed to the agency in order to locate CNE audit specific documents. Audit documents are evaluated for CNE compliance and, upon audit completion, stored on-site, per agency record-retention requirements.

The CNE audit process change is one facet of the BON strategy toward paperless licensure, that will improve the efficiency of the licensing process, and increase the speed in which a nursing license is obtained. The BON will post further information concerning the CNE audit process on the BON website, www.bon.texas.gov, at a later date.

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