Welcome to the Texas Board of Nursing - Google Analytics

Frequently Asked Questions - Continuing Education & Competency

Competency

How am I supposed to demonstrate my competency as a nurse?

A nurse may choose among three methods of demonstrating his or her continuing competency for each two-year licensing period. A nurse may complete 20 contact hours of continuing nursing education (CNE) in the nurse's area of practice; achieve, maintain, or renew an...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

Back to Topics


Abbreviations

I see the abbreviations CE, CEU, CNE, and CME. What do they mean, and which ones can I use to meet my continuing competency requirements?

Each of these abbreviations has a specific meaning but some are commonly interchanged. Let's compare some of the similarities and differences of the underlying terminology and usage of these abbreviations....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

What happened to Type I and Type II contact hours?

These terms are no longer used in relation to continuing nursing education. In 2007, the distinction between Type I and Type II was eliminated. With changes to the continuing nursing education rules in 2007, the contact hour was also changed and became equal to a clock hour. These changes decrease confusion regarding the continuing nursing education requirements.

Back to Topics


Audit Process

The Board conducts random audits to determine compliance with the continuing competency requirements. Written notice is e-mailed to the nurse’s email address on file or mailed to the last known address (if no e-mail is on record). This notice is sent 90 days prior to the renewal dates for nurses who are chosen randomly by computer. The email notification is sent by our service provider, e-Strategy Solutions. You will not be able to proceed with the renewal of your license until adequate proof of continuing competency has been submitted and approved. Please allow up to ten (10) business days for review of the submitted audit. You will receive an email at the address on file, notifying you of the outcome of your audit, and whether any additional action is required on your part.

Audit Process FAQs

What do I need to do if I get selected for a Continuing Competency audit?

For information and instructions on how to submit proof of your continuing education documentation please log into the e-Strategy Solutions website at https://ce.esslearning.com using your license number and date of birth.

Back to Topics

Who is e-Strategy Solutions?

eStrategy Solutions, (esslearning), is an online service provider to the Texas Board of Nursing, contracted by the State of Texas.  eStrategy Solutions supports licensees, applicants, and other users in the completion of continuing education audits, courses, webinars, workshops, and other online activities at the direction of The Texas Board of Nursing. eStrategy Solutions may identify themselves as “The Help Desk,” pursuant to assisting users on the Board’s behalf. You may contact them for assistance with the process by clicking on “Help,” “Technical Support,” or by calling (800) 215-0641.

Back to Topics

How long does it take the Board to review the audit once I have submitted it?
The Board of Nursing makes every effort to process audits within ten (10) days of receipt. Audits are processed in the order in which they are received.  

Back to Topics

I was selected for a continuing competency audit, submitted more than enough continuing nursing education (CNE), and received an email rejecting my CNE. What do I do now?

If you were notified that your audit failed, when you log back into the audit site, proceed to the activities section. The rejected activities have a red "thumbs down" indicator next to them. If you double click on the indicator, you will see the specific reason for rejection. For example, the certificates of completion are required to contain specific...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

My certificate of completion has more than one course listed on it and I was awarded a different amount of hours for each one. Do I have to list these activities separately?

Yes. Each activity completed must be listed separately.

Back to Topics

I will be using my schooling as proof of my continuing education. Does my official transcript need to be in a sealed envelope?

No, for CE Audit purposes, an image of your official transcript is adequate. You will need to access the transcript in order to upload the image of it.

Back to Topics

What if I don't agree with the results of the Board audit findings in relation to my compliance with continuing competency requirements?

You may submit a written letter of appeal within 20 days of your notification of the audit results.9 You may appear in person when the review is conducted pursuant to your letter requesting an appeal.10 Once the Board makes a decision after an appeal, that decision is final and binding.11

Back to Topics

I submitted CNE in response to an audit but now I cannot renew my nursing license. Why?

Did you allow for 10 business days for the audit to be processed? If not, please allow time for the audit process to be completed. Has your license expired? If so, you will need to complete the paper renewal process. You may access the paper renewal forms here. Please use the appropriate...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

Back to Topics

My license expired before I was able to complete the audit process and now I can’t log into e-strategy Solutions. How do I take care of this?

Once your license expires, you must follow the instructions for a delinquent renewal. The delinquent renewal form can be downloaded at the following link.

Back to Topics


Area of Practice

What does "area of practice" mean?

A nurse's area of practice is defined as any activity, assignment, or task in which the nurse utilized nursing knowledge, judgment, or skills during the licensure renewal cycle. If a nurse does not have a current area of practice, the nurse may refer to his or her last area of practice or most recent area of practice.4

Back to Topics

How do I apply this to my area of practice?

Some continuing nursing education (CNE) topics apply to all areas of nursing practice, such as confidentiality, documentation, ethics, recognition of substance use disorders, epidemiology, and nursing law and rules. Other topics apply broadly across nursing practice areas, such as health promotion, disease prevention, and management of chronic diseases....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

Back to Topics

When do I need to be in compliance with the rule changes related to contact hours in my area of practice?

The new continuing competency requirements will be enforced with the first licensure renewal that begins after the rule became effective, October, 4, 2010. For example, if a nurse is in a current licensure cycle that ends in 2011, the requirements will be for the next licensure cycle in 2012 and 2013. Be sure to save your CNE certificates for two licensure renewal cycles.5

Back to Topics

What if I want to learn about a new area of nursing practice?

You may choose to achieve more than the minimum requirement of 20 contact hours or there may be a CNE activity that both addresses your current area of practice and incorporates an additional area of practice that may be new to you.

Back to Topics

I have more than one area of practice; do I need 20 contact hours in each area of practice?

No, you may choose to attain all of your contact hours in any or all or your areas of practice, but you do not need more than the 20 required contact hours total. You may choose to attain more than the required minimum and you may choose how to distribute your learning across your multiple areas of practice.

Back to Topics

Last licensure time period, I got extra CNE; can I use it for my next licensure?

No, the CNE hours must be earned within the two-year period immediately preceding the license renewal, beginning with the first day after the renewal month until the last day of the subsequent renewal. For example, if you are to renew your license in December 2011 (your birth month), then you must earn CNE hours between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2011. Additional hours earned may not be carried over to the next renewal period.

Back to Topics


Continuing Nursing Education (CNE)

I have 19.3 contact hours. Where can I find a continuing nursing education (CNE) opportunity for 0.7 hours prior to my licensure renewal next month?

Because some areas in nursing change so rapidly, 20 contact hours in an area of practice may not be enough to maintain competence. The 20 contact hours in the two-year licensure renewal cycle are not intended to limit, but rather is the minimum requirement.

Back to Topics

The ACLS course I took did not offer CNE, why can't I count this course?

There are many courses that offer high quality information applicable to nursing practice and that promotes ongoing learning and professional growth. However, if the specific course...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

I am a nurse educator. What CNE topics or certifications would be applicable to my area of practice?

A nurse educator may have different teaching roles, such as nursing faculty or staff nurse educator. CNE courses should incorporate and relate to knowledge, skills, or activities performed or required by the nurse in his or her area of practice. Both nursing faculty and staff nurse educators...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

Back to Topics

I am a nurse administrator. What CNE topics or certifications would be applicable to my area of practice?

As a nurse administrator, you must be familiar with many areas of nursing practice such as leadership, management, administration, finance, policy development, interdisciplinary teams, and...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

Back to Topics

I work in utilization review. What CNE topics or certifications would be applicable to my area of practice?

Utilization review nurses need to be knowledgeable about many different types of patients and the care they receive. Therefore, CNE topics for utilization review nurses include evidence-based practices appropriate to the care of patient populations the utilization nurse oversees. All aspects...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

Back to Topics

I am an attorney and I am a nurse. What CNE topics would be applicable to my area of practice?

Some attorneys represent nurses, such as in administrative law, or civil suits. If you utilize nursing knowledge as you represent a nurse, you will need to be familiar with the practice area involved, and could complete CNE related to this area. An attorney, who is a nurse and is practicing law in an area that is not related to nursing, would refer back to his or her last area of nursing practice to complete the CNE requirements.

Back to Topics


Initial Nursing License & Reactivating a Nursing License

I just moved to Texas and endorsed my license. What is meant by "initial licensure period"?

A nurse newly licensed in Texas either by examination or endorsement from another state is exempt from the continuing nursing education requirement for the first licensure renewal period.14...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

I want to reactivate my license after being out of nursing for five years. What do I need to do?

There are several steps you will need to complete.15 You may wish to refer to the appropriate (RN or LVN) Six-Month Temporary Permit application located on the Board of Nursing (BON) web page. The Six-Month applications contain instructions, an overview of requirements, frequently asked questions, and a checklist.

Back to Topics


Nursing Certification to Meet Continuing Competency Requirements

How can I tell if my nursing certification is Board approved to meet continuing competency requirements?

A certification must be in nursing and must be approved to meet the continuing competency requirements for licensure renewal....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

Back to Topics

What is the difference between a certificate of course completion and certification?

Upon successful completion of a course, an attendee may be given a certificate of completion. This is simply stating that on a particular date, the person finished a specific activity. This does not constitute certification, but rather is a method of showing course completion....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

Back to Topics


Nursing Jurisprudence and Ethics Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) Requirements

What is the new requirement related to nursing jurisprudence and ethics continuing nursing education (CNE)?

All nurses are required to complete at least two contact hours in nursing jurisprudence and ethics prior to the end of every third licensure renewal cycle. The contact hours must be approved as continuing nursing education (CNE).....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

Back to Topics

When do I need to comply with the new targeted continuing nursing education in nursing jurisprudence and ethics?

This requirement is effective with licensure renewal cycles that start after January 1, 2014....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

Back to Topics

I’m not sure I understand the new nursing jurisprudence and ethics continuing nursing education requirements. One of my colleagues told me that I had to take the nursing jurisprudence exam, is that true?

If you are currently licensed to practice nursing in Texas you do not have to take the nursing jurisprudence exam. The nursing jurisprudence exam is only required of applicants for initial licensure and nurses seeking licensure in Texas by endorsement. Neither the nursing jurisprudence exam nor the nursing jurisprudence exam prep course award CNE. ...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

Back to Topics

Is the new nursing jurisprudence and ethics requirement for one course in nursing jurisprudence and ethics or do I have to take two separate courses, one in nursing jurisprudence and one course in nursing ethics?

You may take a combined nursing jurisprudence and ethics course or you may take separate courses in nursing jurisprudence and nursing ethics. However, you must complete at least two contact hours on these topics. Please be aware that the course or courses taken must include information on the Texas Nursing Practice Act; the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) rules, including Board Rule 217.11; Standards of Nursing Practice; the Texas BON Position Statements; principles of nursing ethics; and professional boundaries [Board Rule §216.3 (g)].

Back to Topics

I recently obtained a national nursing certification in my area of practice. Will my national nursing certification count towards the new requirement for nursing jurisprudence and ethics?

Certification may not be used to fulfill the CNE requirements [Rule §216.3 (g)].

Back to Topics

I want to be sure that I take the right type of course. When I am looking for a continuing nursing education (CNE) course in nursing jurisprudence and ethics are there certain topics that should be included in the course? What should I look for in a course?

There are specific topics that must be contained in nursing jurisprudence and ethics continuing nursing education courses. These required topics include information on the Texas Nursing Practice Act, the Board's rules, including §217.11 Standards of Nursing Practice, the Board's position statements, principles of nursing ethics, and professional boundaries....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

Back to Topics

Where do I begin to look for continuing nursing education courses in nursing jurisprudence and ethics? Does anybody offer these in Texas? With my busy schedule, are there any courses offered online?

Board staff recommends an internet search using the search terms “continuing nursing education jurisprudence ethics” for a listing of possible continuing nursing education courses on Texas nursing jurisprudence and ethics courses. Please be sure the course contains information related to the Texas Nursing Practice Act, the Board's rules, including §217.11 Standards of Nursing Practice, the Board's position statements, principles of nursing ethics, and professional boundaries... ...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

Back to Topics

I’ve already completed my 20 contact hours of continuing nursing education (CNE) in my area of practice for this renewal period. Is it acceptable to complete these two additional contact hours in nursing jurisprudence and ethics now and not wait until the CNE is required?

Yes, you may take the two contact hours now. Because some areas in nursing change so rapidly, 20 contact hours in an area of practice may not be enough to maintain competence. The 20 contact hours in the two-year licensure renewal cycle are not intended to limit, but rather is the minimum requirement.

In addition, it is acceptable, if you choose to take a continuing nursing education course in nursing jurisprudence and ethics more frequently than the requirement of every third two-year renewal period.

Back to Topics

How will the Board know I have complied with the CNE requirements for nursing jurisprudence and ethics? Do I need to mail in my certificate of course completion?

The Board conducts random audits for compliance with continuing competency requirements. Please retain your certificates of course completion for 3 licensure cycles in case you are audited. If you are chosen for an audit you will receive a letter. Please follow the directions on the letter to submit proof of your compliance.

Back to Topics

If I am enrolled in a college credit course that includes nursing jurisprudence and ethics may I use it to fulfill the new requirement?

The course must be part of the curriculum leading to an academic degree in nursing or must relate directly to your area of practice [Board Rule 216.5(1)]. The content must relate to nursing jurisprudence and nursing ethics and must include the Texas Nursing Practice Act, Texas Board of Nursing (BON) rules including Rule 217.11, Standards of Nursing Practice, the Texas BON Position Statements, principles of nursing ethics and professional boundaries [Board Rule 216.3 (g)].

Back to Topics


Responsibility of the Nurse

Is there a grace period to complete continuing nursing education (CNE)?

There is not a grace period for completing your CNE. On renewal of your nursing license you must attest that you have met the continuing competency requirements that are included in Chapter 216, relating to continuing competency....Toggle Expand/Collapse Text

Back to Topics

Will I receive a reminder to complete my CNE?

The Board does not send out reminders to nurses to complete CNE. Each nurse is responsible to meet licensure requirements and to continue to grow professionally.17 With the requirement to complete CNE in your area of practice, you may want to seek CNE in your area of practice, throughout the 2 year licensure period so that you can have the maximum amount of time to complete the 20 contact hours.

Back to Topics


Retired/Volunteer Retired Nurse

I am retired from nursing, how will I determine my area of practice? Could I do continuing nursing education (CNE) on any topic?

If you are not currently practicing nursing, you will refer back to your last area of nursing practice prior to your retirement, or when you were last practicing nursing. The CNE you complete would then relate to your previous area of practice.

Back to Topics

I want to volunteer once I retire. What are the requirements?

A nurse, who wants to be a volunteer retired nurse, must complete at least 10 hours of CNE unless the nurse has advanced practice authorization.18 The nurse with a valid volunteer...Toggle Expand/Collapse Text


For more information on these and other topics, use the search field at the top right corner of the page. Should you have further questions or are in need of clarification, please feel free to contact the Board.