All 269,760 currently licensed RNs in Florida must take a Laws and Rules course before renewing their license this year or beyond, and an electronic tracking system lets the Board of Nursing know whether the nurse has completed the coursework or not.
The course is designed to ensure that all nurses are aware of their specific scope of practice, requirements for continued competencies to maintain nursing licensure, and that nurses are aware of the consequences of violation of the Florida Nurse Practice Act and the Rules of the Florida Board of Nursing, said Ryan Ash, spokesman for the Florida Department of Health.
More about the course
The two-hour course includes content from Chapters 456 and 464 of the Florida Statutes, pertaining to health professions and nursing, respectively, and the rules in Title 64B9 of the Florida Administrative Code, which pertains to administering the Nurse Practice Act. Topics cover the boards rights and responsibilities, licensure mechanisms, scope of practice for different licensures, practice requirements, delegation to others and grounds and guidelines for discipline. Nurses must take the course from a board-approved continuing education provider or a course otherwise authorized by the board.
The board sees nurses that come before it with different complaints and found some nurses are unaware of the requirements, said Willa Fuller, RN, executive director of the Florida Nurses Association in Orlando. Its to make sure all nurses have education about the requirements and learn what the laws are and how it applies to them.
Fuller said the course informs nurses how to handle a board complaint and how what the nurse says can get him or her into deeper trouble. She acknowledged some pushback always exists when the board adds additional mandatory education, but she recognizes the value. We support nurses being more educated about their practice and licensure, Fuller said.
Suzanne Paszkowski, MN, RN, CNM, ARNP, at OB & GYN Specialists in Winter Park, Fla., took the course online and found it valuable. It refreshed some of the things I had forgotten, and I thought it was very useful, she said.
Since the requirement was enacted in 2013, nurses who renew in 2015 are the first required to take the Laws and Rules course. Nurses can report successful completion of this and other continuing education courses at CE Broker at no charge to ensure their license renewal progresses smoothly. The Florida DOH now reviews every nurses compliance transcript at renewal time, with information from CE Broker. Starting with licenses expiring May 31, 2015, if the nurse has not completed the required courses, he or she cannot renew, said Tiffany Cowie, communications director for the Florida department of health.
For more information
To take the course, visit http://ce.nurse.com/course/60199/the-florida-nurse-practice-act-and-rules/.