Currency of practice
Whether you’re applying for initial registration, renewing your permit or returning to practice, you must meet our currency of practice requirement.
How to meet this requirement
If you’ve done one of the following within the last five membership years (October 1 to September 30) you’ve met the requirement:
- Practising a minimum of 1,125 practice hours. Nurse practitioners have additional hours requirements.
- Graduated from an approved nursing program.
- Graduated from an approved nursing refresher program.
You are able to report your hours in MyCARNA during the application/renewal process and can review your hours under the My Profile tab. If there is an error, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with supporting documentation from your employer.
I don't think I meet this requirement. What next?
If you think you may be short practice hours, please contact us to discuss your particular situation. Available options include:
- Completing an approved nursing refresher program.
- If you have experienced circumstances that prevented you from being able to meet the requirement, you may be referred to Registration Committee for review.
- Stop practising at the end of the membership year (midnight September 30) and apply for non-practicing membership.
What can I count as practice hours?
Please include any hours when you were engaged in nursing practice while you held an active permit.
The scope of nursing is broad and can include roles that do not specifically refer to nursing in the job title or job description (e.g. administration/management, health informatics, research, clinical practice, health promotion/policy, etc). Even if your employer does not require you to be a registered nurse, you may be performing activities outlined in Schedule 24 of the Health Professions Act and therefore require registration. Please contact email@example.com you are unsure.
You may include:
You may count courses completed at a post-basic education level while you held a practice permit with a regulatory body. Courses must be completed within the practice year to claim hours for that year (transcripts or course confirmation may be required). Eligible courses may include:
- continuing nursing education courses offered by a college or university in an area of nursing practice (60 hours per credit or hours as outlined in syllabus)
- nursing specialty area certification courses – OHN, Gerontological Nursing (60 hours per credit)
- Canadian Nurses Association certification (initial certification 180 hours)
- nursing courses offered by a university faculty of nursing towards a baccalaureate in nursing (60 hours per credit)
- nursing courses offered by a university faculty of nursing towards a masters in nursing (60 hours per credit)
- nursing courses offered by a university faculty of nursing towards a PhD in Nursing (60 hours per credit, for PhD candidate dissertation research full-time enrollment count 1125 hours per year enrolled)
courses toward a masters in public health, masters in health science administration, and masters in community health (60 hours per credit)
- courses towards a masters or PhD in a health-related discipline (contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions)
- some non-nursing university or college courses or programs in Canada (approval is required from the Registration Committee)
- formal continuing nursing education outside Canada (approval is required from the Registration Committee)
You may count volunteer hours where RN/CGN/NP skills are required. Documentation must indicate the position requires registration and can only count if the member was registered at the time of the practice. A job description, a letter from the agency and approval for the setting may be required to count volunteer hours as nursing practice hours (contact email@example.com to request review).
Hours spent on a committee
You may include hours spent fulfilling duties to the profession on behalf of CARNA, regulatory bodies or professional nursing organizations.
You may only count these hours if your self-employed practice has been recognized as nursing practice by CARNA.
You may include hours of RN practice for "call-back" but not "on-call" hours provided you held a practice permit.
Certified graduate nurse hours
You may count hours of certified graduate nurse (CGN) practice in Alberta or British Columbia provided you held a practice permit. This includes hours for "call-back" but not "on-call" hours.
You may also include CGN hours spent fulfilling duties to the profession on behalf of CARNA (e.g., a committee), regulatory bodies or professional nursing organizations.
Consulting service hours
The consultation activities must fall within the definition of nursing practice and be related to nursing services.
Hours outside of Alberta
You may count RN hours from another province, territory or country provided you held a practice permit in that jurisdiction (verification may be required).
Nurse practitioner hours
Nurse practitioners are also required to work 1,000 NP hours in the last four years, of which 500 must be clinical practice hours in their designated stream of practice. These hours will be counted towards the 1,125 practice RN hours required every five years.If you are unable maintain currency for NP renewal, you can renew as an RN, provided you meet the RN currency requirement. Alternatively, you can request a review by the registration committee of your application for NP registration. You will need to outline learning activities you have done to maintain NP skill and knowledge and how you intend to meet NP currency requirements by the next practice year. This may include volunteer hours where the position description indicates NP skills are required
Nurse practitioner hours include:
- NP clinical practice in Alberta, including hours for ‘call-back’ but not ‘on-call’ hours provided you held a practice permit.
- NP clinical practice in another province or territory in Canada provided you held a practice permit in that jurisdiction (verification may be required).
- NP clinical practice in another country provided you held a practice permit in that jurisdiction (verification may be required).
- NP educator hours (towards clinical hours): a maximum of 200 education hours per practice year for time spent:
- preparing lectures for courses with clinical content (clinical content/components refer to coursework involving advanced anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology/pharmacotherapeutics, health assessment and clinical management.)
- directly overseeing clinical practicums
- directly overseeing practice labs
- developing curriculum related to core clinical components
Please note: Any additional NP educator hours or hours as an NP outside of clinical practice can be recorded separately as NP non-clinical hours.
Registered nurse educator hours
You may count direct contact hours of teaching, preparation hours in advance of teaching, and hours spent marking exams or assignments for a nursing program or continuing nursing education course or program.
Registered psychiatric nurse (RPN) hours
You may count hours practising as an RPN in Alberta, provided you held an RN practice permit at the same time as an RPN practice permit.
Please don't include:
- Vacation, sick time or any other leave
- "On-call" hours
- Time spent caring for a friend or family member
- Hours spent in courses for the purpose of being eligible for registration or renewal of a permit (e.g., a nursing refresher program, nursing/nurse practitioner clinical practicum experience)