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Board of Nursing

Welcome to the Board of Nursing.

Due to the current State of Emergency around the COVID-19 Health Advisory, all board and licensing business is being done electronically via email at this time. Please do not call the office or any board phone listed on this page at this time. Please email board.questions@oplc.nh.gov and your inquiry will be responded to as soon as possible during normal business hours, Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:00pm. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

The New Hampshire Board of Nursing (NHBON) is a regulatory board that safeguards the life, health and public welfare of New Hampshire citizens. It also provides oversight of the Nursing Assistant (NA) Registry. The practice of nursing is regulated under the Nurse Practice Act RSA 326-B and further defined under the Administrative Rules 100-800. All licensees are responsible for knowing their scope of practice. No person may practice as a nurse or nurse aide without a license. In addition to direct care activities, NHBON also defines "practicing" as attendance at employee orientation or completing other types of non direct care activities.

Announcements

At the March 26, 2020 Board of Nursing meeting, the Board approved the Board Administrator’s request to consider the current COVID-19 Declared State of Emergency and to proactively permit all high school Licensed Nursing Assistant Programs to extend their curriculum out an additional 90 days post end of declared state of emergency. The Board accepted this request yesterday at their Board of Nursing Meeting. High School programs do not need to notify the Board of this change.

Please see Documents below regarding:

Instate practice without a NH license

Declaration of state of Emergency pdf file

Governor Declaration Regarding Telehealth during state of emergency

NH Emergency Order 8 Telehealth COVID-19 pdf file

Medicaid Fact Sheet Regarding Governor’s Telehealth Declaration

COVID-19 Medicaid Telehealth Fact Sheet pdf file

Office of Professional Licensure and Certification Interpretation of Governor’s Telehealth Declaration

OPLC Guidance on Telehealth pdf file

Stress Relief Resources during COVID-19 for Nurses pdf file

The Board of Nursing added emergency rule to extend time to take NCLEX during declared state of emergency:

Nur 303.02(d) emergency rule cover sheet pdf file

Nur 303.02(d) emergency rule change pdf file

NCLEX Exams to Resume in Limited Capacity March 25, 2020

CHICAGO – NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN Examinations testing will resume on a limited basis at 60 Pearson VUE Testing Centers on March 25, 2020, ramping up to additional sites by March 28. These sites were selected to be close to large metropolitan areas in the U.S. and Canada.

The decision to reopen these centers speaks to the unprecedented need for nurses and their importance in the health care system during this time of global pandemic. NCSBN and Pearson VUE know that they have a crucial role in assisting to put more nurses into the workforce.

Following CDC guidelines for social distancing, NCLEX candidates will be screened prior to being allowed to test. Likewise, testing center personnel will also undergo screening before being allowed to work. The testing centers will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between each test taker including all objects that candidates interact with or encounter.

While still maintaining the psychometric integrity of the NCLEX exams, the time limit of the exam will be shortened to four hours in order to allow the maximum number of candidates to test per day. The pretest items and the special experimental Next Generation NCLEX section will be removed, however, the difficulty levels and passing standards of the exams have not changed.

FAQs can be found on ncsbn.org. Candidates can schedule testing appointments at Pearsonvue.com/nclex.

More testing centers will be opened as soon as possible based on the availability of staff, solving supply logistics and navigating government guidelines.

All Nursing Programs Update Emergency Rules for Declared State of Emergency

On Friday, March 13, 2020, Governor Chris Sununu signed Executive

Order 2020-04. This executive order declared a state of emergency due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Section 3 of the Executive Order states:

3. Beginning at 11 :59 p.m. on Sunday, March 151\ all assisted living facilities, long term care facilities, nursing facilities, residential care facilities, as those terms are defined in RSAs 151-151-H, or any other similar facilities providing residential care to elderly or infirm patients, shall prohibit visitor access to reduce facility based transmission of COVID-19. This prohibition shall not apply to medically necessary personnel, visitors for residents receiving end of life care, or visitors necessary to provide for a residents psychosocial needs as determined by a licensed medical care provider.

In effect, the governor's executive order has caused nursing assisted living facilities, long term care facilities, nursing facilities, residential care facilities, and any other similar facilities (hereinafter,"nursing facilities") to be "locked down" to all visitors - including nursing students. The Board's current rules regarding nursing schools, however, require that programs that prepare LNAs must require that each LNA student obtain 60 hours of clinical experience in a skilled nursing facility. See Nur 704.09(i). The majority of locations that could provide such clinical experience are closed to all visitors, including nursing students, for the duration of the state of emergency. In addition, for nursing LPN and RN programs, the rules currently require that the program's curriculum be approved by the Board, and that any changes to the curriculum also need to be approved - including any changes to requirements for clinical experience. See Nur 602.16. Since the majority of locations that provide clinical experience are closed to all visitors, students in nursing LPN and RN programs will be affected as well.

Over the weekend, the Board of Nursing Administrator spoke by phone with the Board of Nursing Chair and Vice Chair in tandem with the OPLC Director, and the decision made to request an emergency rule to address the concerns related to the current state of emergency in New Hampshire. The Board Administrator drafted a rule defining “clinical experience” and adding changes to requirements during a state of emergency:

Nur 101.04 "Clinical Experience" means practice in an inpatient, ambulatory care, or community setting where the student provides care to patients under the guidance of a nursing instructor or preceptor.

(a.)Clinical Experience may be substituted with simulation and lab work during a State of Emergency Declared by the Governor that impacts clinical site availability; provided, however, the Board of Nursing is notified within twenty-four (24) hours of such substitution. "Simulation" means a technique, not a technology, to replace or amplify real experiences with guided experiences that evoke or replicate substantial aspects of the real world in a fully interactive manner.

The Board of Nursing had an emergency meeting at 4:30 pm Monday March 16th, 2020 and passed the above 101.04 rule, which was submitted and accepted by the State of NH, and is now in effect for 180 days. The rule relaxes the requirement for clinical experience during the course of a declared state of emergency, and allows the 60 hours of clinical experience to be substituted with 60 hours of simulation and lab work during the state of emergency. It also permits LPN and RN programs to substitute in person clinical with simulation. The Board must be given 24 hours’ notice of such substitution because the Board wishes to be aware of the requirements of each program. Such notice can come in the form of an email to the Board.

For RN and LPN Programs impacted by Nur 602.16, which requires notification for curriculum change: (5) Revision of curriculum; to include changes in more than 10% of credit hours. Please stop and consider the number of hours in the nursing program – if the program is a two year program with two 16 week terms and one summer term that is 8 weeks that is a total of 72 weeks – if the program changes from in person instruction to online instruction for 6 weeks that is only 8.33% of the curriculum hours. The RN/LPN program would NOT need to notify the Board office of any change for Board approval if the program meets this threshold of less than 10%. The Board office would be notified, but Board approval not required in that instance of less than 10%.

I am hoping this information will assist in nursing programs in moving forward during this state of emergency. Please respond to either Ann Vondle for LNA/MNA Program changes/updates or Maggie Dolfini for RN/LPN Program changes/updates.

NOTICE TO EMPLOYERS: Please note that the Board of Nursing recently passed an emergency rule which relaxes the requirements for clinical experience during the pendency of the state of emergency. As a result, Licensed Nursing Assistants that were trained during this state of emergency may not have received the clinical experience with direct patient care, and may have received simulation and lab work instead. Therefore, it may be advisable for these LNAs to be provided extended orientation to the geriatric population with specific needs for care of patients with dementia and cognitive impairment.

If there are any questions, please reach out to me.

Respectfully,

Bonnie Crumley Aybar RN, MSN, CPAN, FRE
New Hampshire Board of Nursing Administrator
Office of Professional Licensure & Certification
121 South Fruit Street, Suite 102
Concord, NH 03301
Phone (603) 271-3822
Fax (603) 271-6605

Notice from the National Council State Boards of Nursing:

Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC)

Notice Proposed Rules & Notice of Public Hearing pdf file

The Board of Nursing has the following 2 board member openings:

An LPN Board member and a Public member.

Interested parties should contact the BOARD OF NURSING (271-2323) to submit a letter of interest and a resume of experience.

New Dates for Nurse Licensure Compact Webinars for Public

NLC Webinar Presentations Dates & Times  pdf file

Videos Updated
Nursys.com has released videos to reflect the addition of the Authorization to Practice Map and changes in the display of licenses status that were launched earlier this year. The updated videos can be found on Nursys.com under the Help section or by clicking on the link(s) below.

Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact

Resource for Addiction or Substance Misuse

  • Free Educational Courses that award contact hours for Nurses and Nursing Students are being offered online at www.ncsbn.org. The course titles are: "Understanding Substance Use Disorder in Nursing" and "Nurse Manager Guidelines for Substance Use Disorder."

Contact

121 South Fruit Street, Suite 102
Concord, NH 03301
board.questions@oplc.nh.gov
(603) 271-2323 (Nursing)
(603) 271-6282 (Nursing Assistant)
(603) 271-6605 (Fax)

The Board of Nursing cannot return calls from other countries, including Canada.

Portable Document Format Symbol Portable Document Format (.pdf). Visit nh.gov for a list of free .pdf readers for a variety of operating systems.


Office of Professional Licensure and Certification
121 South Fruit Street |  Concord, NH 03301
Main Telephone: (603) 271-2152