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The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 74: Registration of nurses; examinations; fees; certificate; rules and regulations; continuing education relating to the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with cognitive impairments

[See Executive Order No. 8 dated March 17, 2020, (2019 MA EO E20-D) related to the COVID-19 State of Emergency for potential impact on the terms of this section.]

Section 74. The board of registration in nursing in this section and in sections seventy-four A to eighty-one C, inclusive, called the board, shall hold examinations for the registration of nurses at such times and places as it shall determine. Applications for registration, signed and sworn to by the applicant, shall be made on blanks approved by the board. An applicant who furnishes satisfactory proof that he is of good moral character and a graduate of a school for nurses approved by the board shall, upon payment of a fee as determined by the secretary of administration pursuant to chapter seven of the General Laws, be examined by the board, and if found qualified, shall be registered, with the right to use the title registered nurse and to practice as such, and shall receive a certificate thereof from the board.

An applicant failing to pass an examination satisfactory to the board shall be entitled to additional examinations under the rules of the board, but shall file a new application and pay a fee as determined under the aforementioned provision for each such examination.

Every person registered hereunder who continues to hold himself out as a registered nurse shall, on or before his birthday in each even-numbered year, renew his registration for the ensuing two year period by payment of a fee as determined by the aforementioned provision to the board, and thereupon, the board shall issue a certificate showing that the holder thereof, is entitled to practice as a registered nurse for the period covered by said payment; provided, however, that if a birthday of any person who shall be registered hereunder shall occur within three months after such original registration, such person need not renew his registration until his birthday in the even-numbered year next following the birthday aforesaid; provided, further, that every person seeking renewal of registration hereunder shall provide evidence of such continuing education as the board shall require by regulation unless the board accepts the training and experience of any such person in lieu of said continuing education requirement.

The board shall promulgate rules and regulations as to the type and amount of continuing education required for such nurse as a qualification for licensing or relicensing; criteria for approved programs, which shall not exclude programs offered by health care facilities licensed by the department of public health or institutions chartered by the commonwealth; procedure for the approval of such programs; mechanism for the verifications of compliance by each person seeking renewal or registration and provision for inactive status.

The board shall have the authority from time to time to make, amend and rescind such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of the continuing education requirements. Said regulations shall provide that the minimum number of hours required shall not be less than fifteen hours. For the purposes of this section and of section seventy-four A, the birthday of a person born on February twenty-ninth shall be deemed to be February twenty-eighth. In default of such renewal, a person registered hereunder shall forfeit the right to practice as a registered nurse or to hold himself out as such until such fee shall have been paid.

The board, after a hearing, by vote of a majority of its members, may annul the registration and cancel the certificate of any nurse who has been found guilty of a felony.

The board shall require that any continuing education requirements necessary for the renewal of a registered nurse's certificate of registration shall include the 1–time completion of a course of training and education on the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with cognitive impairments, including, but not limited to, Alzheimer's disease and dementia; provided, however, that such course requirement shall only apply to registered nurses who serve adult populations.