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To qualify for the learned professional employee exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), all of the following tests must be met:

· The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $684 per week.

· The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge, defined as work which is predominantly intellectual in character, and which includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment.

· The advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning; and

· The advanced knowledge must be customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction.

Registered nurses who are paid on an hourly basis should receive overtime pay. However, registered nurses who are registered by the appropriate State examining board generally meet the duties requirements for the learned professional exemption and, if paid on a salary basis of at least $684 per week, may be classified as exempt.

Licensed practical nurses and other similar health care employees, however, generally do not qualify as exempt learned professionals, regardless of work experience and training, because possession of a specialized advanced academic degree is not a standard prerequisite for entry into such occupations and are entitled to overtime pay.