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So you’ve gotten your registered nurse licensure… Now what?
When you become licensed as a registered nurse, you will need to have your licensure renewed. How often you need it to be renewed and what is required to renew it depends on the state you hold your licensure in.
Some states require you to renew every year, most states require every other year or more. Some states require you to complete a certain amount of continuing education for every licensure renewal.
If you hold a licensure in more than one state, you will need to meet the requirements for each state you hold a licensure in.
What are Continuing Education Units (CEUs)?
APWA.net explains Continuing Education Units as the following:
Definition: The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is a nationally recognized method of quantifying the time spent in the classroom during non-credit learning. Ten hours of instruction equal one (1) CEU.
Purpose: The primary purpose of the CEU is to provide a permanent record of the educational accomplishments of an individual who has completed significant non-credit educational and career enhancement experiences.
CEUs can be referred to as Continuing Education credits (CEC), Continuing Professional Competency (CPC), Professional Development Hours (PDH), or just plain CEs to name a few. Also, sometimes states will place “contact hours” after CEs and this does not change the meaning either, it still mean CEUs and is the same measurement.
The only difference each state occasionally makes is when they specify what topic is covered and how many hours or credits needs to be covered.
This is a lot of information to keep straight so one of the ways you can get reminders and make sure you have what you need is by signing up for the NURSYS database.
Nursing License Renewal and CEU Requirement by State
When is the licensure renewal due: Every year by the end of RN birth month
How many CE hours are due: **See below
Special situations:**Pick from the following list:
National certification or re-certification by a national credentialing body recognized by the Board.
30 contact hours of continued education.
Completion of a Board approved refresher course.
Completion of a minimum of two semester hours of post-licensure academic education related to nursing practice.
15 contact hours of continued education and one of the following:
Completion of a nursing project as principal investigator or co-investigator to include statement of problem, project objectives, methods, date of completion and summary of findings.
Authoring or co-authoring a nursing related article, paper, book or book chapter.
Developing and conducting a nursing continuing education presentation or presentations totaling a minimum of five contact hours, including program brochure or course syllabi, objectives, date and location of presentation, and approximate number of attendees.
640 hours of active practice within previous 2 years.
When is the licensure renewal due: Every 2 years between October 1st and December 31st. If licensed in an odd year, renewal will be in odd years, if licensed in even years, renewal will be in even years
How many CE hours are due: 12 Contact hours
Special situations: If this is the first year of being licensed, then CE courses are not required. If licensure is from another state, then 6 hours of contact hours are required.
Special situations: the number of hours you worked in the nursing profession (at least 140 hours in any 12-month period, or an accumulated total of at least 480 hours within the preceding 6 years) for renewal
Special situations: However, mandatory continuing competency is required. In order to maintain continued competence, the board requires the nurse to have practiced in nursing in the last five (5) years and additionally, the Board sets out standards of competence and requirements to maintain competence.
1.5 hours of these hours are recommended to be related to HIV/AIDS
320 hours of active nursing practice in the previous biennium which must be certified by the supervisor or designee on the Employer Verification form provided by the Board
Participation in 15 hours of approved professional activities documented and certified by supervisor, client or manager of the activity, or organization on the Professional Activity Form obtainable from the VIBNL
New Graduates: Nurses who graduated and received their initial license during the prior biennium are not required to complete the continuing education requirements for the renewal and must list classes taken during this period on the CEU form
They can be called continuing competency audits and depending on your states board of nursing and the laws for your state, the disciplinary actions will vary. Some are as extreme as not renewing your license!
You worked way to hard for that! So make sure you complete what is required and keep records for every CEU you do!
It is important that you look into and contact your state BON prior to taking any action. This post is meant simply as a guide.
Do you have any other questions about CEUs? Leave a comment!