Nursing CE Requirements by State for Nurses

Please verify this information and all information regarding licensure requirements with their state licensing board. This information is offered as a summary and does not include specifics regarding content. Information may have changed since this information was last verified on May 23, 2011. Licenses are offered and renewed at the sole discretion of the state boards.

State Term (Years) Continuing Education Requirements (Number of contact hours)
RNs APNs
Alabama 2 24 24 plus 6 contact hours in area of pharmacology for NPs, CNMs
Alaska 2 Before a license can be renewed, registered and practical nurse licensees must complete two of the following methods for maintaining continuing competency: 1.30 contact hours of CE 2.30 hours of participation in professional activities or 3.320 hours of employmentIn lieu of meeting the above requirements, licensees may qualify for alternative methods of continuing competency such as completing a refresher course, taking the NCLEX, or making progress towards a degree or certificate by completing 2 courses. National Certification
Arizona 4 None National Certification
Arkansas 2 Requirements can be met in 1 of the following 3 ways:

  • 15 practice-focused contact hours from a national or state continuing education approval body recognized by ASBN,
  • Maintenance of certification or recertification by a national certifying body recognized by ASBN, or
  • Completion of an academic course in nursing or related field.
National certification; The APN is required to have a Certificate of Prescriptive Authority issued by the Board of Nursing in order to prescribe. Prescribing is limited to the APN’s scope of practice which is defined by the APN’s national certification. To obtain the certificate, the APN must complete an advanced pharmacology course with a preceptorship, work as an APN for a defined period and have a collaborative practice agreement with a physician
California 2 30 hours of continuing education for license renewal. The continuing education course(s) must be taken through a Board-approved Continuing Education Provider. Continuing education is not required for renewal of advanced practice certificates.
Colorado 2 None National certification
Connecticut 1 None National certification
Delaware 2 30 contact hours and have practiced nursing at least 1000 hours in the past 5 years or 400 hours in the past 2 years IF national certification for your specialty is available, THEN you must be certified and meet 1of these requirements:

  • Practice of 1500 hours over the past 5 years in the specialty for which you are applying, or
  • Practice of 600 hours over the past 2 years in the specialty for which you are applying, or
  • Graduation from the specialty program within the past 2 years.

IF national certificate is unavailable, THEN you must meet 1 of these requirements:

  • Practice of 1000 hours over the past 2 years in the specialty for which you are applying, or
  • Completion of a period of at least 1000 hours of supervised practice.

In addition, APNs who have prescriptive authority must attest to completing 10 hours of continuing education (CE) in pharmacology/pharmacotherapeutics in the past 2 years.

District of Columbia 2 The completion of 24 contact hours of continuing education in the licensee’s current area of practice is required. The completion of 24 contact hours of continuing education is required. Fifteen of the 24 contact hours must include a pharmacology component. Nine of the 24 contact hours must be relevant to the practice of your APRN specialty.A licensee with multiple APRN specialties may satisfy the continuing education requirements for multiple specialties by completing continuing education toward each specialty license. In other words, a course that counts toward more than one specialty license can fulfill multiple license requirements at the same time.
Florida 2 24 hours of appropriate continuing education every 2 years, including a one-time, 1 hour on HIV/AIDS CE requirement to be completed prior to the first renewal, 2 hours on Prevention of Medical Errors, 2 hours of Domestic Violence from a Florida-approved provider to be completed every 3rd renewal. National Certification
Georgia 2 None National certification
Hawaii 2 None National certification
Idaho 2 None National certification
Illinois 2 RNs and LPNs are required to complete 20 contact hours every 2 years. 50 contact hoursAn APN holding more than 1 APN license is required to complete 50 contact hours total per license renewal period.
Indiana 2 RNs and LPNs attempting to renew a license that has been expired for more than 3 years AND who are not currently licensed in another jurisdiction will be required to demonstrate continued competence to practice. For licensees expired 10 years or less, this requirement is satisfied upon providing proof of completing 24 contact hours of continuing education for nurses from an accredited provider of CE for nurses, 6 contact hours each dealing with the following 4 subject areas: Assessment, Documentation, Pharmacology, and Legal / Ethics. Advanced practice nurses with prescriptive authority must obtain at least 30 hours of continuing education, at least 8 hours of which must be in pharmacology.
Iowa 3 For renewal of a three year license, the requirement is 36 contact hours or 3.6 CEUs. For renewal of a license that has been issued for less than three years, the requirement is 24 contact hours or 2.4 CEUs. A license issued for less than three years is granted for two years, plus the number of months to the birth month. Thereafter, the license must be renewed every three years. A licensee (ARNP, RN, LPN) who regularly examines, attends, counsels or treats children or adults in Iowa is required to complete training related to the identification and reporting of child/dependent adult abuse. The licensee is required to complete at least two hours of training every five years. An advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) holding current certification in his/her specialty is deemed to be in compliance with Iowa continuing education (CE) requirements. There are no extra CE credits required for the RN renewal and ARNP registration. The ARNP is required to meet the CE requirements that are recognized by the credentialing body that offers certification in the nurse’s specialty area of practice. Current certification is required to be maintained.
Kansas 2 30 credits/2 years Same as for RN; education must be related to the practice specialty.
Kentucky 1 14 contact hours/year OR national certification. There are the following specific requirements: a one time requirement to earn 3 contact hours of approved domestic violence CE within 3 years of initial licensure; earn 2 hours of mandatory HIV/AIDS CE once every 10 years 14 contact hours/year OR national certification. 5 credits must be in the area of pharmacology
Louisiana 1 5 contact hours/year if employed full time; 10 if employed part time;;15 hours if not employed Same as for RN
Maine 2 None An APRN seeking renewal of license(s) to practice must have completed during the 2-year period a minimum of 75 CEUs in nursing, medicine, or allied health in the area of practice for which the individual has been licensed as an APRN.
Maryland 2 None National certification
Massachusetts 2 15 contact hours/every two years National certification
Michigan 2 25 contact hours every two years. An applicant for license renewal shall complete at least one (1) continuing education contact hour in pain and pain symptom management in each renewal period. National certification
Minnesota 2 24 contact hours of continuing education during a 24 month period of registration. The continuing education activity must last at least one contact hour. A contact hour is 50 minutes. If an activity lasts more than 50 minutes, fractions of an hour are acceptable. National certification
Mississippi 2 None National certification
Missouri 2 None National certification
Montana 2 None 40 CEUs every 2 years for APRN, 10 additional CEUs every 2 years for prescriptive authority
Nebraska 2 20 contact hours within the last renewal period, 10 of which was peer reviewed and approved 40 contact hours of continuing education in appropriate clinical specialty area within the 2 years proceeding the renewal period. 10 of the 40 contact hours must be in pharmacotherapeutics.
Nevada 2 30 contact hours of continuing education during the 24 months which immediately precede the nurse’s most recent birthday; there is a one-time requirement that four of the 30 continuing education credits must be earned in a bioterrorism course that meets state requirements. APNs must meet the CE requirement for RNs. Additionally, APNs must take an additional 15 CEUs directly related to their specialties.
New Hampshire 2 30 contact hours in 2 years immediately preceding license application In addition to 30 contact hours for RN licensure, 30 additional hours specific to ARNP specialty, 5 of which shall be pharmacology specific in 2 years immediately preceding application.
New Jersey 2 30 hours of continuing education. If the licensee has earned more than the required 30 contact hours during a given licensing period, the licensee may carry over no more than 15 of such extra contact hours earned into the next licensing period. National certification
New Mexico 2 30 hours of approved CE within the 24 months immediately preceding expiration of license Certified nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialist must complete a total of 50 hours of approved CE each renewal. Thirty contact hours shall meet the requirements for licensure as an RN and an additional 20 contact hours, 15 of which must be pharmacology and 5 in the area of practice. Certified registered anesthetists must submit a copy of the recertification card issued by AANA Council on Recertification for renewal of the CRNA license.
New York 2 3 contact hours in infection control every 4 years; 2 contact hours child abuse (one time requirement for initial licensure); Both must be from an approved provider. National certification
North Carolina 2 As part of a continuing competency requirement, all nurses are expected to select a learning activity that will help you reach your goal/goals. One option of a learning activity is to complete thirty (30) contact hours of continuing education activities. Activities less than 30 minutes will not receive credit. National certification
North Dakota 2 12 contact hours per 24 month renewal period.If you received your first license in North Dakota by endorsement from another state in the year you are renewing, you must complete 6 contact hours for renewal of your nursing license. National certification. Advanced Practice Registered Nurse with Prescriptive Authority must complete 15 contact hours of CE related to pharmacology. These 15 contact hours may fulfill the RN/APRN renewal contact hour requirements of 12 CE.
Ohio 2 24 hours/2 year renewal period, 1 hour of which must be in Ohio nursing law National certification and must also meet RN requirements
Oklahoma 2 None National certification. APNs seeking prescriptive authority must also submit evidence of 45 contact hours or 3 academic credits in the area of pharmacotherapeutics every 3 years. Renewing prescriptive authority: a minimum of 15 contact hours or one academic credit hour is required for renewal. This continuing education or academic credit must be directly related to pharmacotherapeutics, clinical application and use of pharmacological agents in the prevention of illness, and in the restoration and maintenance of health. If you are a CRNA, a minimum of eight units of continuing education in advanced pharmacology relating to the administration of anesthesia
Oregon 2 Seven hours of pain management-related CE. One hour must be a course to be provided by the Oregon Pain Management Commission. CE earned on Medscape may be used to meet Oregon’s Pain Management requirement. An NP or CNS with prescriptive authority must complete CE at the appropriate level of licensure as noted by a target audience statement that includes NPs, PAs and/or MDs. Nurse practitioners: 100 contact hours/2 years. CNS with prescriptive authority must earn 100 contact hours every two years. CNS without prescriptive authority must earn 40 contact hours every two years. For APRNs with prescriptive authority, at least 15 hours of pharmacotherapeutic content must have been earned in the past two years.
Pennsylvania 2 Beginning with the license period commencing on July 12, 2010, an applicant for renewal of a professional nursing license shall complete 30 hours of continuing education approved by the Board during the biennial period immediately preceding the application for renewal. 30 hours of continuing education in the two years preceding the renewal. CRNPs with prescriptive authority approval must complete at least 16 of the 30 hours in the area of pharmacology. For more detailed information, click here.
Rhode Island 2 10 contact hours/2 year licensing period National certification
South Carolina 2 30 contact hours per renewal period National certification plus 45 hours in the area of pharmacotherapeutics at initial licensure (15 of which must be in controlled substance pharmacology for NPs wishing to prescribe these drugs)
South Dakota 2 None National certification
Tennessee 2 None National certification and 3 hours in pharmacology
Texas 2 Nurses must obtain 20 hours of CE credit every 2 years.All nurses practicing in emergency room settings as either their home unit, floating, contracted, or other duties that involve functioning in an ER setting or role must take the Forensic Evidence Collection in Continuing Education. 20 contact hours every two years. Advance Practice Nurses (APNs) are required to complete CE within their advanced specialty area and role recognized by the BON. APNs with limited prescriptive authority must also complete an additional five contact hours in pharmacotherapeutics.
Utah 2 No CE requirement if practiced at least 400 hours/2 years; 15 CE required if practiced 200-400 hours; 30 hours if no practice National certification
Vermont 2 None National certification
Virginia 2 None National certification. If you were licensed as a Nurse Practitioner PRIOR to May 8, 2002, you must hold current professional certification OR have completed at least 40 hours of continuing education in the area of specialty practice If you were licensed as a Nurse Practitioner AFTER May 8, 2002, you must hold current professional certification in the area of specialty practice. If you have prescriptive authority, you must also have eight hours of continuing education in pharmacology or pharmacotherapeutics for each biennium.
Washington 2 As of January 1, 2011, RNs must document 531 hours of active nursing practice within previous 36 month review period; 45 hours of continuing education. 30 hours every two years in area of specialty; additional 15 hours in pharmacotherapeutics if prescriptive authority
West Virginia 1 12 hours every year. The activity must be at least 50 minutes/1 contact hour in length. National certification
Wisconsin 2 None National certification. Advanced Practice Nurse Prescriber: 8 contact hours per year through AANA, ACNM, ANCC, NCBPNPN, AANP, NCC, and AACN.
Wyoming 2 No requirement for CE if 1600 hours of practice in last 5 years. If applicants do not meet practice requirement, they must demonstrate continued competence by one of 5 ways, one of which is 20 hours of completed CE 60 hours of CE plus 400 practice hours/2 years OR National certification including 30 hours of CE. In addition, the biennial requirement for contact hours of continuing education related to the recognized specialty area( s) of advanced nursing practice may include twelve (12) hours of education in pharmacology and clinical management of drug therapy and/or hours of education relating to national certification.

Source: Medscape.org

Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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