As a nursing student, you are probably wondering what continuing education requirements you will need to meet in order to practice nursing in your state. Every state has different requirements, but most require nurses to complete a certain number of continuing nurse education (CNE) hours every few years in order to maintain their license. Beyond that, some states require a certain course before you get your license. For example, in New York, nursing students need to take a Child Abuse Identification and Infection Control course in order to get their license. I will provide a comprehensive guide to nursing CE requirements by state.
Most states require nurses who want to keep their licenses to earn credits every two years. Each state has its own set of requirements for obtaining a license. But in 12 states, RNs must complete a particular number or variety of CEU courses to hold their nursing license.
However, each state’s board of nursing decides on CEU requirements for RNs and LPNs to maintain their license. In this blog post, I will provide a comprehensive guide to nursing CE requirements by state. We will cover all 50 states, so you can be sure you are meeting all the necessary requirements.
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To learn more about each state’s nursing continuing education requirements, check out the table below. If you are interested in taking the CE requirement for your state, a link to any course offered by #1 Premiere Continuing Education is provided.
Nursing CE Requirements by State:
|Alabama||AL Board provided|
|Alaska||Q2 years, 30 contact hours of continuing education ANCC; continuing education must be earned in one of the following areas: nursing practice areas & special health care problems; biological, physical, or behavioral sciences, legal or ethical aspects of health care|
|Arkansas||15 hours of practice focused|
|California||30 hours, non-specific|
|Connecticut||2 hrs screening suicide, 2 hrs suicide prevention|
|Washington DC||No requirement|
|Delaware||3 hours in substance abuse|
|Florida||2 hrs medical error prevention; 2 hrs Florida rule and law; 2 hrs human trafficking; 1 hr HIV/AIDS; 2 hrs impairment in the workplace; 2 hrs domestic violence|
|Georgia||30 hours, non-specific|
|Hawaii||30 hours, non-specific|
|Idaho||15 hours, non-specific|
|Illinois||1 hr sexual harassment training; implicit bias (2024), 1 hour Alzheimers|
|Indiana||30 hours, non-specific|
|Iowa||36 hours, non-specific (and one Iowa provided)|
|Kansas||30 hours, non-specific|
|Kentucky||3 hours of domestic violence; 1.5 hours of pediatric head trauma|
|Louisiana||30 board approved contact hours|
|Massachusetts||diagnosis, treatment, and care of patients with cognitive impairments, including, but not limited to, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (one-time course, no specified number of hours)|
|Michigan||2 hours of pain, pain management; human trafficking identification|
|Minnesota||24 hours non-specific|
|Mississippi||20 contact hours|
|Montana||24 hours non-specific|
|Nebraska||20 hours, every 2 years|
|Nevada||4-hour bioterrorism, New 1/1/22, 2 hrs cultural competency and diversity, equity, and inclusion. *2024 SBIRT substance use disorder|
|New Hampshire||30 hours every 2 years|
|New Jersey||1 hour concerning prescription opioid drugs, including alternatives to opioids for managing and treating pain, and the risks and signs of opioid abuse, addiction, and diversion, one time 1 contact hour required organ and tissue donation|
|New Mexico||30 hours every 2 years|
|New York||Infection control; id and report child abuse and maltreatment|
|North Carolina||30 hours every 2 years|
|North Dakota||12 hours every 2 years|
|Ohio||1 hour Ohio nurse practice act; 24 hours every 2 years|
|Oklahoma||24 hours non-specific|
|Oregon||New 2-hour cultural competency. 6-hour pain management and/or treatment for terminally ill and dying|
|Pennsylvania||child abuse recognition and reporting|
|Rhode Island||substance abuse; Alzheimer’s|
|South Carolina||No requirement|
|South Dakota||No requirement|
|Texas||geriatric care; human trafficking; forensic evidence collection; nursing jurisprudence; nursing ethics|
|Washington||suicide assessment, treatment, management|
|West Virginia||veterans mental health; drug diversion|
Other CEU Requirements to Consider
The basic purpose of continuing nursing education is to improve an RN’s knowledge and abilities. Nurses must complete CEU courses that are related to their profession. Lessons from an approved institution or university may also qualify toward CEU requirements for registered nurses (RNs) seeking a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
Among the most common areas of continuing education for registered nurses are:
- Laws and guidelines for nursing
- Patient advocacy
- Conflict management
Most states clearly define courses that are not acceptable as CEUs for RNs. For instance, general education lessons such as English Literature, Government, and Mathematics generally do not meet CEU prerequisites in most states.
Where to Find CEUs for RN License Renewal
Some CEUs are free of cost, while others require a subscription or a fee per course. CEUs must be obtained from an accredited institution or program in order to count toward overall contact hours achieved.
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There are many ways to find Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for RN license renewal. One option is to contact your state’s nursing board or psychiatric society. Many of these organizations offer CEUs for nurses.
Another option is to check with your hospital’s human resources department. Many hospitals offer CEUs for their employees. Additionally, there are many online sources of CEUs, such as the American Nurses Association and the National Institute of Mental Health. #1 Premier Continuing Education also offers an unlimited nursing CEU subscription. So you can be sure you are getting the CEUs you need, year after year.
Which States Require Continuing Education for Nurses?
Nurse continuing education requirements vary from state to state. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of 2022, 14 states do not require nurses to complete any continuing education for licensing.
Is Continuing Nursing Education Mandatory?
While continuing nursing education (CE) may not be mandatory in every state, it is generally required in order to maintain an active nursing license. Most states require nurses to complete CE every two to three years, and some states even require nurses to complete CE in order to renew their licenses. CE helps ensure that nurses are up-to-date on the latest advancements in their field and provides them with the opportunity to expand their knowledge base.
Why Do Nurses Do Continuing Education?
Nurses do continuing education in order to stay up-to-date on the latest advances in patient care and treatment. This allows them to provide the best possible care for their patients. Continuing education also allows nurses to develop new skills and knowledge, which can help them provide better care for their patients. Additionally, it helps nurses maintain their certification and keep their licenses current.
What Is the Easiest Way to Fulfill My CE Requirements?
The easiest way to fulfill your CE requirements is to space out the hours in a manageable way. You can study on holidays and other days when you have free time. This will help you stay on top of your studies and avoid last-minute cramming. Additionally, try to find resources that fit your learning style. Some people prefer audio or video resources, while others prefer printed materials. Find what works best for you and stick with it. With some careful planning, fulfilling your CE requirements can be a breeze!
How Many Continuing Education Credits Do Nurses Need?
The quickest and easiest way to fulfill your CE requirements is with an online course. You can complete your coursework at your own pace and have the flexibility to complete it around your work schedule. In most states, you need 15 credits (CEUs) every two years in order to renew your license. Check with your state board of licensure to see if they have specific courses that they require you to take.