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Would a state board of nursing consider something like case management as clinical hours?

Wednesday July 16, 2014
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Question:

Dear Donna,

One question I often hear from nurses is, “My state board of nursing requires that I document a certain number of clinical hours each year in order to renew my nursing license. Would they consider something like case management clinical hours?’”

Needs Clinical Hours

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Needs Clinical Hours,

It depends because every state is different. It is best to first check with your board of nursing about their definition of clinical hours. This information may be on their website but most states that have this requirement seem to remain fairly vague on what constitutes clinical hours. Perhaps this is so they have the leeway to consider various perspectives on the issue. I suggest you check with your state chapter of the Case Management Society of America (www.cmsa.org). Obviously, other nurse case managers in your state would be facing the same situation. They will be able to advise you on local regulations and how to work within them.

There have been cases when nurses who do something non-traditional have to challenge the board’s definition of “clinical.” They supply additional written justification/explanation of how they use nursing knowledge, critical thinking skills and so on in their work to qualify to maintain active license status. If necessary, the requirement can even be challenged with the assistance of a nurse attorney. I’m not suggesting you would have to go that route but want to be clear these regulations are both open to interpretation and to being challenged.

Best wishes,
Donna


Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://www. Nurse.com/Events.