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The North Carolina Respiratory Care Board

Frequently Asked Questions about the Regulatory Process
(Hyperlinks to answers below)
 
1.     What is my PIN if I renew online?
2.     I used to submit my completed CE, when did this change?
3.     How do I apply for licensure?
4.     How long will it take to get my license once I send in the application?
5.     Can I call the Board office to find out about the status of my licensure application?
6.     What will I receive from the Board when my license is issued?
7.     What practitioners are exempt from licensure?
8.     Do I have to obtain malpractice insurance in order to be licensed?
9.     How long is a license good for?
10.   Why are there so many forms to fill out -- and why is there so much documentation required in this application process?
11.     What happens to the application and license fees?
12.     What will I have to do to renew my license?
13.     How do I report my continuing education requirements?
14.     Does the Board publish a directory of licensees?
15.     How do I report a complaint or grievance to the Board?
16.     How are Board members selected and how long do they serve?
17.     When and where does the Board meet? Are the meetings open to the public?
18.     How can I contact the Board?
19.     What are the new rules for continuing education?
20.     What are the CE options under the new rule if there must be direct interaction for six of the credits?
21.     Why is this change CE necessary?
22.     What are the requirements for earning CE’s for clinical precepting? 
23.     What is the Boards view on Sexual Harassment and Workplace Violence?
24.     What can an unlicensed support person do in accordance with 21 NCAC 61 .0202?
25.     What should a licensed practitioner do in accordance with 21 NCAC 61 .0202?

Answers...
1. What is my PIN if I renew online? To renew online click LOGIN on the Home page, then type your license number in the first window (Number only No A-). In the second window type in your PIN which is the last 4 of your SSN. Please call the Board office if you can not login to renew or update your address or practice site(s)up

2. I used to submit a copy of my completed CE, when did this change? Effective July 1, 2007 you no longer have to list the CE you have completed. You simply attest to the continuing education you have completed that meets of one the Board's requirements. You must maintain copies of the documentation for a period of at least 3 years (5 years if your NBRC credentials have an expiration date) and are subject to audit. The Board will audit a percentage of renewals and ask that the RCP to submit verification of the continuing education that they attested they have completed. You will also be required to submit a copy of a current BLS card if audited.up

3. How do I apply for licensure? Click Application. up

4.How long will it take to get my license once I send in the application?
The application must be complete and all required documentation must be received from other agencies. It may take approximately 20-30 days for the Board to issue a new license.up

5.. Can I call the Board office to find out about the status of my licensure application?
You may call the Board Office to inquire about the status of your application. You will receive notification if the application you submitted is incomplete in any way.up

6. What will I receive from the Board when my license is issued?
You will receive a wall certificate, a wallet card and a certificate of licensure.up

7. What practitioners are exempt from licensure?
Under limited circumstances, persons who engage in another profession, students and trainees, and persons serving in the armed forces, Public Health Service or the VA may be exempted. Individuals should contact the Board to get additional information and clarification if they believe they fall within one of the exempted categories.up

8. Do I have to obtain malpractice insurance in order to be licensed?
No. It is not required by the Practice Act. It is a business decision left up to each licensee, but the Board encourages all licensees to assess the risks in their practices and determine whether prudence dictates that insurance against those risks be obtained.up

9. How long is a license good for?
Licenses are valid for up to one year.up

10. Why are there so many forms to fill out -- and why is there so much documentation required in this application process?
The application process is dictated by the requirements for licensure specified in G.S. 90-653 of the Practice Act, and accompanying Rules. Because the Board has a legal mandate to protect the public, applicants for licensure must demonstrate that they meet all requirements.up

11. What happens to the application and license fees?
This is a "self-funded" regulatory program. All costs involved with operating the Board Office, paying professional staff, and carrying out the licensure program must come from the fees collected. No State, County or Municipal money may be provided to support this program.up

12. What will I have to do to renew my license?
Licensees will receive a renewal notice approximately 30 days before the expiration date of his/her license. Licensees may renew online or must submit the renewal form, pay a renewal fee, and attest to completion of continuing education.up

13. How do I report my continuing education requirements? With the license renewal, the licensee will attest to the continuing education completed during the renewal period period. Do not submit copies of certificates of attendance unless asked to do so. A percentage of renewals will be audited at which time the licensee will be asked to submit verification.up

14. Does the Board publish a directory of licensees?
The Board may publish a directory of licensees. A copy may be ordered from the Board Office.up

15. How do I report a complaint or grievance to the Board?
Complaints about licensees, or persons practicing respiratory care without a license must be submitted to the Board Office, and include the name, address and phone number of the person submitting the grievance. These reports will be investigated by the Board pursuant to a formal disciplinary procedure established to address violations of the Laws and Rules. Click Complaint to submit a complaint.
Once you become a licensee, it is your ethical responsibility to assist the Board in policing the profession to assure quality services and care to the public. If you have knowledge of or observe a possible infraction of the Laws and Rules, you must report it to the Board.up

16. How are Board members selected and how long do they serve?
The statute passed by the General Assembly sets the number, term, and qualifications of the Board members, and defines how members are appointed. There are ten members on the Board - two practitioner members, two public members, four physician members, one member appointed by the NC Hospital Association and one member appointed by the NC Association for Medical Equipment Services. The General Assembly appoints the two practitioner members and two physician members; the Governor appoints the public members; the NC Medical Society appoints one physician member; and the Old North State Medical Society appoints one physician member. Board members serve three-year terms, and may not serve more than two consecutive terms. Click Board Members for Board member names.up

17. When and where does the Board meet? Are the meetings open to the public?
The Board meets every 3 months. All meetings are open to the public. Click Meeting Schedule for a list of the upcoming meeting dates and location. This information is also available from the Board Office.up

18. How can I contact the Board?
All inquiries shall be directed to the North Carolina Respiratory Care Board, rather than to individual Board members. The office is located at 125 Edinburgh South Drive, Suite 100 in Cary, NC 27511. The phone number is 919-878-5595; the fax number is 919-878-5565; the e-mail address is bcroft@ncrcb.org. up 

19. What are the new rules for continuing education?

According to the amended rule 21 NCAC 61 .0401 CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS: All courses and programs shall: 1) Contribute to the advancement, extension and enhancement of professional clinical skills and scientific knowledge in the practice of respiratory; 2) Provide experiences which contain scientific integrity, relevant subject matter and course materials; and 3) Be developed and presented by persons with education and/or experience in the subject matter of the program. At least six contact hours shall be obtained each reporting year from workshops, panel, seminars, lectures, or symposiums that provide for direct interaction between the speakers and the participants.up

20. What are the CE options under the new rule if there must be direct interaction for six of the credits?

First, online CE’s are still allowed under the new rule, so RCP’s may continue using approved online courses.

Regarding the six remaining CE’s as defined in 21 NCAC 61 .0401, a lecture is a “discourse given for instruction before an audience or through teleconference." This allows for CE’s to be achieved in a live webinar or teleconference or traditional face-to-face environment. Web-based supplemental content when combinedwith direct interaction during a live teleconference or webinar with online assignments including but not limited to readings, chat rooms and examinations are considered blended or hybrid formats. It is our position that continuing education through a hybrid or blended format is acceptable form of educational activity to meet the new rules for direct interaction.

This means ACLS, PALS, and NRP qualifies as 5 direct interaction credits when the classroom portion is offered online since these all require face-to-face interaction for skills testing. In addition, three hours of CE’s for clinical instruction or precepting were approved in the new rules by the Board to encourage professional engagement with future respiratory therapist and is considered direct interaction. These clinical instruction hours are outlined in the form section of the website under Clinical Precepting Documentation. In conclusion, online or distance learning courses combined with interaction in some form between the presenter and the audienceis equivalent to the traditional face-to-face format when attending a seminar, conference, or lecture.up

21. Why is this change CE necessary?

In a statement revised by the AARC in 2012:

“It is critical for all health care practitioners to participate in continuing education in order to enhance their knowledge, improve their clinical practice and meet state licensure and national credentialing requirements. Participation in continuing education, whether mandatory or voluntary, offers the potential to be one of the most powerful tools to ensure safe, efficient, and quality patient care. The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) recognizes the value of, and need for, participation in continuing education and recommends that practitioners participate in educational activities on a continual basis. AARC members may utilize the Continuing Respiratory Care Education (CRCE) system as the mechanism for recognition and documentation of such activities.

The AARC encourages Respiratory Therapists who have completed the required entry level education to pursue baccalaureate and graduate degrees relevant to their professional pursuits. The AARC encourages Respiratory Therapists to select continuing education activities relevant to their personal and professional needs. Providers of continuing education activities (which can include clinical institutions, educational institutions, public and private associations or organizations, and proprietary corporations) are encouraged to conduct needs assessments in order to design and develop valuable educational activities that will enable practitioners to meet their professional goals. In addition, providers of continuing education are encouraged to review, evaluate and measure their activities' effectiveness. Providers are also urged to use instructional technology, incorporate multiple learning styles, current research-based learning and assessment theories, and foster critical thinking to promote effective learning.”

Therefore, increased continuing educational standards are essential in today's health care environment; not only to improve the quality of care, but also to reduce inappropriate care and thereby reduce costs. Respiratory Care Professionals are expected to participate in the development, modification and evaluation of care plans, protocol administration, disease management, and patient education. Currently, the standards for online continuing education vary widely and are not consistent. As a result, the NCRCB has modified the continuing education requirements to facilitate continued growth and development of the respiratory care in NC.  As a collective group, we are devoted to our professional growth and development through higher levels of education in order to improve the most important aspect of our profession - the patient.up

 22. What are the requirements for earning CE’s for clinical precepting? 

The most recent rule change in 21 NCAC 61 .0401 (Continuing Education Requirements) allows for licensees to earn 3 credits for clinical precepting towards the 12 credits required each year. Upon application for license renewal, a licensee shall attest to having completed clinical precepting as part of the learning activities when claiming the 12 CE credits during the preceding renewal cycle. The licensee must be prepared to submit evidence of completion if requested by the Board. This evidence shall include a copy of the licensee’s annual preceptor evaluation completed by the college that reflects an overall satisfactory rating. The board does not stipulate the number of hours required to earn this credit since the hours required are determined by the policies of each facility and educational institution. A licensee that provides clinical instruction as their primary employment status may not use this option for credit. 

23. What is the Boards view on Sexual Harassment and Workplace Violence?

The NC Respiratory Care Board is committed to the principles of civil rights and opposes any form of discrimination against individuals or groups of individuals based on sex, race, age, national origin, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. The NCRCB believes that all healthcare personnel have a right to and responsibility for a workplace free of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment has an adverse impact on the health care environment and is considered unlawful in NC as workplace violence. Any act related to workplace violence is considered a violation of North Carolina General Statute § 90-659(a)(1)(d) and Board Rules 21 NCAC 61 .0307 (10). Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute § 90-652(5), the Board will determine if there is sufficient credible information to begin an investigation into cases of this nature. The Board has the power to deny an application (if applicable), revoke a license or impose probationary conditions on a licensee and may also assess administrative penalties and costs, if it determines that there has been a violation of the Respiratory Care Practice Act or the Board’s Rules, based on information received during an investigation.up 

24. What can an unlicensed support person do in accordance with 21 NCAC 61 .0202?

1. A person who provides only support activities as defined in G. S. 90-648(13) is exempt as an unlicensed individual. They may:
a. Deliver, set up, and calibrate prescribed respiratory care equipment.
b. Provide instructions on the use, fitting and application of apparatus.
c. Demonstrate the mechanical operation for the patient, or caregiver.
2. In accordance with Board of Pharmacy rule 21 NCAC 46 .2611 as defined in G.S. 90-85.3(e),(l1),(r); 90-85.6; 90-85.22, the delivery of respiratory equipment may also include the following:
a. Maintain testing equipment to ensure accurate calibration;
b. Review safety precautions;
c. Review cleaning procedures;
d. Review maintenance procedures; and
e. Return demonstrations on equipment delivered.
f. Instruct the patient about emergency and routine contact procedures;
g. Deliver and review with the patient written instruction materials to ensure that the patient receives adequate information to properly operate the equipment; and
h. Provide a written plan of service which is developed, implemented, and documented in the patient record including an assessment of the safety of the home environment, the caregiver or patient ability to comply with the prescription, and the caregiver or patient ability to operate and clean the equipment as instructed.up 

25. What should a licensed practitioner do in accordance with 21 NCAC 61 .0202?

1. Each of the following must be performed by a respiratory care practitioner licensed by the Board or other licensed practitioner operating within their scope of practice.
a. Teaching, administration, or performance of respiratory care including instructions to the patient or caregiver regarding the clinical use of the equipment, and b. Patient monitoring, patient assessment, or other activities or procedures that are undertaken to assess the clinical effectiveness of an apparatus, or to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment, c. For the purposes of this section, mechanical ventilation support procedures relative to set-up will require a licensed respiratory therapist.up