- Board Policies
(As of September 21, 2023)
The Nevada State Board of Optometry adopted these policies to assist in the consistent enforcement of Nevada’s statutes and regulations applicable to the practice of optometry, and to facilitate the Board’s work to complete its authorized functions under the law. These policies do not replace the optometry statutes and regulations (NRS & NAC Chapters 636 and others), and where they conflict, the statutes and regulations shall take precedence.
Policy Number 1 – Correspondence
Official correspondence with the Board may be submitted through the Board’s website, mailed to the Executive Director at Post Office Box 1824, Carson City, Nevada 89702, emailed to email@example.com or transmitted via fax to 775-305-0105. Communication by any of these means is acceptable for official Board correspondence.
Policy Number 2 – Change in Location of Practice
NRS 636.370 and this policy require each licensed optometrist to notify the Board of the place of his or her practice, or any change or addition of a location of his or her practice, in writing before the practice location becomes active. Change of address/location forms and additional practice location forms are available at https://nvoptometry.org.
Policy Number 3 – Applications for Licensure
An Application for Licensure as an optometrist in the State of Nevada, whether for a recent graduate or license by endorsement, may be completed online or downloaded from the Board’s website, https://nvoptometry.org. The application will be processed upon receipt of the following: the completed application, a passport-sized photo and the fee to the Board. A recent graduate applicant also must request the release of his or her NBEO scores to the Board, and delivery of transcripts directly from optometry schools. If an applicant is or has been licensed in any other jurisdiction, he or she must arrange for either a current verification or Letter of Good Standing to be provided from each such jurisdiction. Additionally, all applicants must take and pass Nevada’s Online State Law Exam, which may be administered at the Board’s office in person, or is available for administration online via the NBEO website under OSLE at https://optometry.org.
Within 30 days of the Board’s receipt of notice that the applicant passed the online law exam with a minimum score of 70%, and all other required forms, fees and documentation in support of the application, the Executive Director will reject or approve the application and provide notice to the applicant. These policies apply both to recent graduates and applicants for licensure by endorsement.
Upon receipt of notice of approval of his or her application for licensure, and before practicing optometry in the state, the applicant must identify and provide his or her initial practice location to the Board
Policy Number 4 – License Renewal
Pursuant to NRS 636.250, a licensee (active or inactive) must renew his or her license by the last day of February of each even-numbered year. License renewal requires Board receipt of a completed renewal application, 2-year license fees, and proof of completion of all required Continuing Education (see Policy No. 5).
For renewal by mail to be timely, the renewal application, fees and evidence of completion of appropriate required CE units must be postmarked before March 1. Electronic renewal is effective upon submission of the application, all required information and fees via the Board website. The renewing licensee bears sole responsibility to confirm timely Board receipt of any or all renewal materials. Renewal materials may be submitted online at https://nvoptometry.org or by US mail.
On March 1 of even-numbered years, any non-renewed licensee’s ability to practice optometry in Nevada will be suspended. A license may be relieved from suspension by submitting the required renewal materials and fees to the Board on or before June 30 and paying a penalty of $500.00 as authorized by NRS 636.285. As of July 1, the license to practice and any certificates held by a non-renewed licensee will expire. Should an expired licensee wish to practice again in Nevada, he or she must submit an application and all documentation and fees required of a new licensee.
In the event a licensee allows their license to expire and wishes to reapply, the applicant must reapply for their Nevada Optometry license (as well as OPAC and Glaucoma certifications if eligible) and pay all respective fees. An approved OPAC training is valid for the life of the licensee, therefore, the applicant is not required to retake the 40-hour training to recertify.
Policy Number 5 – Continuing Education
NRS 636.260 requires submission of satisfactory evidence that, within the 24-month period immediately preceding license renewal, the licensee has completed the required number of hours of continuing education approved by the Board. The 2-year total of continuing education required for general licensees is 40 hours, of which up to 5 hours may be optometric office administration or practice management.
A licensee who holds an Optometric Pharmaceutical Agents Certificate (OPAC) must submit proof of 50 CE hours each 2-year renewal period. Of the 50 hours, not fewer than 30 CE hours must relate to the diagnosis or treatment of conditions of the eye or prescribing optometric pharmaceutical agents. Up to 10 hours may be related to office administration or practice management.
If a licensee who is OPAC certified also holds a current Nevada Controlled Substances number, then not fewer than 2 of the minimum of 30 OPAC CE hours must be related to prescribing opioids, addiction, substance abuse and/or pain management. The opioid CE requirement may be satisfied by a pre-approved CE provider or a Category 1 Continuing Medical Education (CME) course. General CE or CME coursework in the required subjects will be accepted; however, when available, the Board prefers courses be related to prescribing related to conditions of the eye.
The following applies to only the license renewal cycle ending on February 29, 2024- On December 29, 2022, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 enacted a new one-time, eight-hour training requirement for all Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)-registered practitioners. So long as DEA-approved and at the time of the licensee’s submission for credit accompanied with proof that each such hour is DEA-approved, any number of such completed hours can be applied toward the licensee’s CE requirement under general, OPAC, therapeutic pharmaceutical agents, or diagnostic pharmaceutical agents.
Any of the CE hours may be by live attendance, by Internet, correspondence or video. Licensees submitting CE taken via the Internet, correspondence or video must submit proof of completion of the course and obtaining a grade of 70% or higher on the course exam.
The Board counts hours in 0.25-hour increments using the 1/4 hour nearest the actual teaching time, with the exception that 50-minute lectures count as one hour in accord with academic tradition.
Proof of completed CE is acceptable in the form of certificates of completion affirmed by the provider, listing on an ARBO CE Summary Form, or other competent evidence that the licensee was present and engaged when the course was provided. Certification must be by stamp, signature, or other indication from the provider that the licensee attended the full program. Proof of registration for a conference at which CE was available will not be accepted as such proof.
The Board reviews providers periodically to verify adherence to established standards and hours for reporting. The Board has established two categories of acceptable and approved continuing education: A. Pre-Approved Providers, and B. Other Providers.
A. PRE-APPROVED PROVIDERS
This category requires the licensee to submit a signed or verified Continuing Education Attendance form or an ARBO summary through which attendance is certified. Evidence of attendance can be by stamp or signature.
1. Educational Institutions
– All schools and colleges of optometry or ophthalmology, but not their affiliates. (For example, alumni associations are affiliates and are not pre-approved providers).
2. State, Regional or National Associations:
– Any state, regional or national ophthalmologic or optometric society or association
– American Optometric Association and its member state associations
– Armed Forces Optometric Association
– Optometric Society of the District of Columbia
– North Central States Optometric Council
– Southern Council of Optometrists
– Southern Council of Optometry
– Great Western Council of Optometry (GWCO)
3. U.S. Government:
– Veterans Administration
– Academy of Health Sciences, USA
– Air National Guard Optometric Society
– Brooke Army Medical Center
– Dept. of the Army–Ofc. of the Surgeon General, 18th Medical Command, 2291st U.S.A.H. [Reserve]
– Ireland Army Community Hospital Optometry Section
– Naval Medical Command–Southwest Region–Naval Hospital
– School of Health Care Sciences, USAF, Sheppard AFB, TX
– Department of Biomedical Sciences MSDB
– Tri Service Optometric Society–Naval Medical Clinic, Barbar’s Point Naval Air Station.
– Optometric Extension Program Foundation, Inc.
– Eastern State Optometric Congress
– Great Lakes Optometric Congress
– Heart of American Optometric Congress
– The Invitational Skeffington Symposium
– Mid-American Vision Conference
– Mountain States Congress of Optometry
– New Jersey Optometric Extension Program
– Northeast Congress of Optometry
– Northwest Congress of Optometry
– Northeast Vision Conference
– Reading Advanced Behavioral Vision Seminar
– Rosario Seminar
– San Jose Vision Therapy Conference
– Southwest California Behavioral Vision Seminar
– Southern California Vision Forum
– Summerville Behavioral Seminars
– Sun Valley Behavioral Vision Seminar
– American Academy of Optometry
– National Eye Research Foundation
– Northern Rockies Optometric Conf.
– Council on Practitioner Educ. of the IAB
– College of Optometry and Vision Development [COVD]
6. ANY COPE-APPROVED (Council on Optometric Practitioner Education) COURSE.
B. OTHER PROVIDERS
Other CE may be approved on an individual basis. Providers or Licensees may request consideration by providing a course syllabus or program, reference materials and the presenter’s curriculum vitae for approval as acceptable CE. The Board will grant or decline the request within 30 days of receiving the required materials.
Policy Number 6 – Continuing Education Submission
A licensee shall not report or submit his or her continuing education information to the Board until the licensee has proof of sufficient hours to fulfill the total requirements for the renewal period.
Policy Number 7 – Accredited Colleges of Optometry
Pursuant to NRS 636.135, only certain schools and colleges of optometry are accredited by the Nevada Board of Optometry. The Board currently accepts only applicants for licensure who hold a degree from a college of optometry accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) or its successor.
Policy Number 8 –Verifications of Licenses
A request for verification of a license, historic licensure information or documentation of discipline which requires a Board response must be made in writing and may require payment of a fee. The Board will make available on its website, and will regularly update, a list of optometrist current licensed optometrists, their initial license date and current expiration date, license number, status, certifications, and discipline. This web-based verification is considered Primary Source Verification and is available without cost via the Internet. If a licensee’s information shows that discipline has been imposed, a Public Records request should be submitted, and the relevant materials will be provided electronically, likely at no cost, to the requesting party.
Policy Number 9 – Use of Fictitious Names
An optometrist who owns all or a portion of a right to practice optometry under or use a fictitious name (other than the professional corporation of an individual licensee, such as Jane Doe, OD, P.C.) shall register the name with the Board by submitting an application for registration identifying all owners of the name, the location of its use, evidence of a current and valid registration of the name with the appropriate State or local agency, and a one-time fee. Any change in the ownership of the fictitious name or its use in another or additional location requires submission of a fictitious name registration request form, supporting documents and fee
Policy Number 10 – Contact with Members of the Board
Licensees should refrain from contacting members appointed to the State Board of Optometry at their homes or offices regarding Board matters and operations and should instead contact the Executive Director. Board members should be contacted directly only when a person wishes to shield his or her identity from the staff for good cause, or the issue involves the conduct of the Executive Director.
Policy Number 11 – Patient Records
The Board highly recommends that each licensed and practicing Nevada optometrist, and particularly each optometrist who practices alone, creates and executes a written plan for a qualified person or covered entity to secure the optometrist’s patient records in the event of his or her sudden or unexpected incapacity or death. An optometrist with a records succession plan may submit a copy of the agreement bearing the optometrist’s and the designated party’s signatures for inclusion in the licensee’s file.
Policy Number 12 – Glaucoma Certification by Endorsement
To obtain a Nevada certificate by endorsement to provide optometric care to patients with open-angle glaucoma, a Nevada-licensed optometrist must swear or affirm that he or she: holds a Nevada OPAC certificate, has had no adverse actions reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank in the past 5 years, holds an unrestricted ability to provide glaucoma services in another jurisdiction, and: 1) has completed not fewer than 50 glaucoma patient contacts, or 2) to obtain glaucoma certification in the other jurisdiction, met a standard that is substantially similar to the standard in Nevada. Supporting evidence must be submitted with the application and related fee.
Policy Number 13 – Retirement and/or unexpected incapacity
In the event of retirement or unexpected incapacity, the Board highly recommends, particularly for optometrists who are solo practitioners, that the optometrist or an authorized agent:
-asap post a sign on the office’s front door regarding the future practice closure, the projected date of practice closure, what phone number or website portal or email address patients are to contact within 45 days of the notice regarding a copy of their medical records.
-such signage not be inconsistent with NAC 629.060. NAC: CHAPTER 629 – HEALING ARTS GENERALLY (state.nv.us);
-asap consistent with the above, change the practice’s outgoing voicemail message;
-asap consistent with the above, posting on the practice’s website;
-asap consistent with the above, posting on all social media accounts should the practice have any social media accounts; and
-asap consistent with the above, send a “blast” email or text message to all patients so long as the email/text does not expose other patients’ email addresses/personal information to each other. If no email address or phone number is listed in a patient’s chart/profile, then by certified mail to the last known mailing address on file with the practice.
-asap make arrangements for a new custodian of medical records, e.g., a licensed optometrist under NRS 636 where if the practice is sold then the oncoming optometrist takes that responsibility. In the event that the practice is closing permanently, then within 45 days of the above-suggested methods for providing such notice, notice in the same methods (except for outgoing voicemail should the practice disconnect the phone service) be provided for how patient records may be obtained – even if those records have been turned over to a new custodian. In the alternative, the practice may mail the records directly to the patients by certified mail, following up on any returned mail with a reasonable effort to obtain a forwarding address. See NRS 636.295(13)(b) (grounds for disciplinary action upon violations related to the maintenance, availability, or distribution of any medical record of a patient. NRS: CHAPTER 636 – OPTOMETRY (state.nv.us)