Bioterrorism Continuing Education Requirement
Bioterrorism CEs | Nevada State Board of Nursing
Legislature mandated bioterrorism CEs
RN and LPN renewal requirement went into effect January 1, 2005
The 2003 Nevada legislature passed Assembly Bill 250, which requires that several types of health care professionals, including nurses, take four hours of continuing education “relating to the medical consequences of an act of terrorism that involves the use of a weapon of mass destruction.” The bill’s requirements are incorporated into the Nevada Nurse Practice Act (NRS 632.343 (3).
Beginning January 1, 2005, all nurses renewing their licenses must have completed this four-hour bioterrorism course as part of their CE renewal requirement. On that date, the Board’s random CE audits began to include auditing for proof that renewing nurses have completed the bioterrorism course. Each renewal, you are asked to affirm (swear) you have completed this one-time requirement. You are also reminded that you will need to retain your bioterrorism CE certificate indefinitely, in case of audit.
The bill specifies that the course of instruction must include:
a. An overview of acts of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction;
b. Personal protective equipment required for acts of terrorism;
c. Common symptoms and methods of treatment associated with exposure to, or injuries caused by, chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear agents;
d. Syndromic surveillance and reporting procedures for acts of terrorism that involve biological agents; and
e. An overview of the information available on, and the use of, the Health Alert Network.
Completing a bioterrorism course which meets the requirements of the law is a one-time requirement of all RNs and LPNs with active Nevada licenses. Once the course is completed, it doesn’t have to be taken again.
The four hours may be counted as part of the 30-hour CE requirement for RN and LPN renewal, and as part of the 45-hour CE requirement for APRN and CRNA renewal.
While the legislature didn’t mandate the course for CNAs, the Board highly encourages them to take it as part of their 24 hour in-service training renewal requirement.
NOTE: If you took a bioterrorism course after October 1, 2003 and before January 1, 2005, AND it met the requirements of the law, the Board will count that course as meeting your one-time requirement. Just make sure you keep a copy of the certificate in case you are audited.
Partial List of Approved CE Providers Offering Bioterrorism Courses
The Board does not approve individual continuing education courses. However, for your reference, we’ve included below a brief listing of approved continuing education providers whose bioterrorism courses appear to meet the legislative intent for the bioterrorism classes. It is not a comprehensive list–if you find other courses which appear to meet the requirements listed above, please email the Board at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add their contact information.
As you review this list and/or receive any mailings about other bioterrorism courses, please remember–you are responsible for ensuring the course you take meets the requirements of the law.
You may also want to check with your facility education department as some are in the process of developing in-house classes.
When considering any continuing education course, please make sure that the CE provider is approved by the Board (click here for approved provider information). If the course is not presented by a Board-approved provider, it won’t count toward the 30-hour renewal requirement. In addition, when reviewing a potential bioterrorism course, make sure the course content covers the subject matter mandated by the Nevada legislature. Be aware—many courses entitled “Bioterrorism” only cover one or two of the mandated subjects.
If you have any questions regarding this requirement, please call the Nevada State Board of Nursing at 1-888-590-6726.