FAQs

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Q1. What is New Mexico Nursing Association’s role in Continuing Nursing Education?

A1. NMNA’s Accredited Approver Unit is an Accredited Approver of Continuing Nursing Education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. 

We approve CNE activities for providers that have met ANCC’s strict criteria for high quality CNEThese criteria specify no retroactive approval of CNE Activities. If you are interested in developing a CNE Activity to provide to other nurses, the forms are under Continuing Education Applications. Choose the Individual Activity Application if you are a new provider of CE.


Q2. Terminology:

A2.  Definitions:

  • Approved Individual Activity: this is an activity that has been submitted to the NMNA AAU for approval. It has been reviewed and found to have been planned, implemented and evaluated in accordance with ANCC criteria.
  • Approved Provider: generally this is a large facility providing 3-20 CNE activities to their employees every month.
  • Contact Hour: A unit of measurement that describes 60 minutes of an organized learning activity. One contact hour = 60 minutes.
  • Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) or Continuing Education:  Those learning activities intended to build upon the educational and experiential bases of the professional RN for the enhancement of practice, education, administration, research, or theory development, to the end of improving the health of the public and RNs’ pursuit of their professional career goals.
  • CEUs: archaic language- this is no longer used for nursing education activities.

Q3. I took a class in ________ last month, and the person in charge told me I would have to apply for continuing education contact hours. 

A3. 
 No accrediting body in the U.S.A. will allow their approvers to retroactively approve continuing education courses. The PROVIDER of the Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) course would have had to apply ahead of time. Participants cannot apply.

Q4. 
 I spent 8 hours (or 16) taking a BLS (ACLS/ PALS, others) course, and they didn’t give me a certificate. How do I get that? 

A4.  The Board of Nursing here and in other states does not generally accept BLS, ACLS, PALS or other course of similar nature for license renewal because these courses rarely change. Yes, your facility or agency may require current certification, but continuing nursing education contact hours must be from courses that provide NEW information beyond basic nursing education to improve your nursing skills in your work setting (can’t be how to plan for retirement, and cannot be routine re-certification of skills, etc.).

For initial certification, advanced skill courses such as ACLS and PALS ANCC contact hours can be awarded IF your facility has applied for approval of the course. As of June 1, 2011, ANCC contact hours cannot be awarded to nurses attending these courses in order to renew their certification in the subject area.

Also, as of June, 1, 2011, contact hours cannot be awarded to BLS and other basic "canned" courses (either initial or renewal). Basic courses – such as BLS for example – form a base upon which nursing knowledge and practice is built. Therefore they do not meet the definition of continuing nursing education.          

For the BLS, ACLS, PALS, etc. Instructor courses, contact hours can be awarded for the teaching modality content only of the classroom based BLS Instructor course. Note that this does not include the content portion of the course. In addition, accredited providers and approved providers cannot award ANCC contact hours for the course offered online or on CD-ROM by AHA as these formats preclude the involvement of the accredited/approved continuing education unit in the planning or implementation of the activity.

Q5. 
 I need to check whether the course I want to take (or have already taken) is approved or not. 


 A5
 The Board of Nursing in NM will accept courses that NMNA’s approver unit has approved. They will also accept Continuing Nursing Education courses that are offered by nursing organizations with national approval by American Nurses Credentialing Center. They’ll also accept CNE approved by any other Board of Nursing- California and Florida Boards of Nursing approve many CE activities. LOOK at the certificate you received for the APPROVAL STATEMENT- if it was approved by a board of nursing or ANCC, the NM BON will accept this.

Q6. 
 Some states require you to have no more than 50% of your CNE contact hours through online or home-study courses. What are New Mexico’s requirements? 

A6. 
 In New Mexico, the requirement is that LPNs and RNs must have 30 contact hours of CNE between the beginning date of the most current licensure and the end of the licensure period. If you are an advanced practice nurse, you must have 50 hours of CNE, 15 of which must by pharmacology courses and 5 of those 15 hours must be in legal, ethical and safe prescribing of controlled substances. These courses may be taken in person, online, or via home-study work books. Make sure you have every one of your CNE contact hours adding up to the correct amount before you sign your renewal application, because when you sign it you are attesting that you have all your CNE contact hours. If you don’t have all the required hours, the board may take disciplinary action against your license.

Q7. 
 I want to take a homeopathy CNE course. Can I count that? What about CME? Social Work or Psychology? 

A7.  If you work in a setting where you could possibly have patients/ clients who use Alternative/ Complementary therapies like homeopathy, acupuncture, herbal medicines, naturopathy, and others, then taking the course could help you and the physician, NP, or other provider to coordinate the care modalities to avoid complications. Having knowledge of the modalities would improve the quality of the care you are providing, thus the course would be appropriate. However, if you are taking the course to become a provider of that type of care, it probably won’t be accepted.

The NM Board of Nursing will allow you to take courses offered by other professions (OT, Social Work, Psychologists, Pharmacy Board, CME) as long as the content is something that you need for your work  setting.

Q8. I am working on my ADN (or higher degree), and have taken academic courses. Can I apply those classes to my CE hours, and what is the conversion?

A8.  If you have been taking nursing, pathophysiology, pharmacology, nursing theory, statistics and research, physical assessment, or Spanish for Health Care Providers, Chemistry, Sociology, and Psychology and other required science and math courses for your next degree in a college/ university, you may use your transcript to show you have continuing education. 1 Academic hour = 15 contact hour. Since you only need 30 contact hours (RN and LPN) every 2 years, one 3 hour course would give you 45 contact hours. If you are audited, you must have the university or college send in an official transcript to the NM BON.

Courses like Western Dancing, Humanities, and Watercolor Painting (for example) would NOT be accepted.

Q9. I have taken a BSL Instructor course. Can I count that toward my CNE requirements for relicensure?

A9.  On November 29, 2006, the Commission on Accreditation moved to allow ANCC contact hours to be awarded for the teaching modality content only of the classroom based BLS Instructor course.  Note that this does not include the BLS content portion of the course. In addition, accredited providers and approved providers cannot award ANCC contact hours for the course offered online or on CD ROM by AHA as these formats preclude the involvement of the accredited/approved continuing education unit in the planning or implementation of the activity.


If you have questions about 
Board of Nursing CE Audits, you may call Laura Moya, NM BON Audit Division at 505-841-9049 for more information.

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