APRN Regulations: Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: Can I sign home care or VNA orders?
A: No. Currently you cannot sign orders for patients with federal insurance. Most VNA orders are based on federal regulations, not state regulations. It is important to know that CT APRNs and CNA are following a Bill in the Federal Government, House 2504 and Senate 1332, that are seeking to change this rule to allow APRNs to sign order.

Q: Is DPH going to track my CE hours?
A: It is up to each Individual APRN to maintain records for continuing education. These are often needed for national recertification as well. DPH may audit you, requesting a copy of CE certificates/log of hours.

Q: Is DPH going to track my 2000 hours of practice with an agreement?
A: Individual APRNs must maintain records that reflect the 2000 hours of practice. Your Human Resources department may be able to assist you in tracking records, pay stubs that captures hours worked, or a letter from your collaborating physician, are possible sources of documentation.

Q: Is it 2000 hours OR three years of practice?
A: The APRN must work 2000 hours in a three year period. It is not one or the other.

Q: My employer is insisting that I sign a collaborative agreement and I already fulfilled the requirement for independent practice, is that allowed?
A: If you have registered as an independent practitioner, you no longer need to sign a collaborative agreement to practice as an APRN. But, your employer may have policies and procedures that do not align with the regulations, and require you to sign agreements as a condition of employment.

Q: When does the CE hour clock begin to tick?
A: Effective for license registration periods beginning on and after October 1, 2014, APRNs applying for license renewal must complete continuing education activities as a condition of license renewal. APRNs shall earn a minimum of fifty (50) contact hours of continuing education within the preceding twenty-four (24) month period. A person who renews in January 2015 would need to be in compliance with the CE requirement when he/she renews in January 2017. The two-year monitoring period commences at the time of the licensee’s first renewal after October 1, 2014.

Q: Will I be audited by DPH for CEs, Collaborative Practice Agreements and hours worked?
A: The DPH will conduct random audits of APRNs. It is up to the APRN to maintain records to document state requirements.

Q: I am new to the state of CT, but have been practicing for 6 years in Washington state, do I still need to do a CPA and 2000 hours?
A: As it stands now, any APRN getting a new license in CT  MUST fulfill the 2000 hours in three years, as a CT licensed APRN. There is no statutory authority to allow an APRN to practice independently if he/she has not worked under a collaborative agreement with a CT licensed physician for at least 3 years and 2,000 hours.

Q: I do not want to be an independent practitioner what can I do?
A: Nothing! Nothing will change. Independent practice means you fulfill the requirements of the 2000 hours in three years. It has nothing to do with whether you wish to open your own practice.

Q: Will taking higher education courses count toward CE requirements?
A: Yes, for credit bearing nursing coursea at a regionally accredited institution of higher education will count toward meeting the CE requirement. The hours are calculated based on the amount of time the licensee is in class. If a class meets one hour per week for a semester, it would be a 1 credit class. Most classes meet for 3 hours per week for the semester and are therefore 3 credits.

Q: I preceptor APRN students and orient and work with residents, will this count toward CE requirements?
A: The statute does not identify teaching or providing training toward meeting the CE requirement.