Most states require nurses to complete some form of continuing education every two to three years as a condition of licensure. Even if your state board does not require any education for continuing competence for renewal, you may still be required by your employer or nursing association for job-specific certifications (i.e., nursing specialties, magnet hospitals, etc.). Specialty certifications such as medical-surgical, critical care, neonatal, etc. have specific requirements for continuing education. Make sure to check with your own hospital and any associations to which you may belong to find out if you have further requirements above and beyond that of your state nursing board.
- CE stands for Continuing Education. Most licensed professions require some form of continuing education.
- CNE is Continuing Nursing Education and refers to courses specifically for nursing professionals.
- CEUS or Continuing Education Units are also known as Continuing Education Credits. They reflect the time spent participating in educational courses or approved activities. One CEU is equal to 10 hours of instruction. The hours of instruction are called ‘contact hours’. *
* Contact hours refer to the stated amount of time an individual is present during a course. One contact hour can equal 50-60 minutes of class time depending on the state. The key here is choosing approved or accredited programs. In order for a CEU to count toward your required hours, it must be administered by an approved CE provider.
At Conexus, we give all of our nurses a free unlimited subscription to our accredited continuing education provider, MyFreeCE. This would normaly cost you $29.95, and gives you unlimited access to their library of accredited courses.
Some states expect some portion of your continuing education to be on specific topics. The remaining hours can often be decided by you.
The other thing to keep in mind is that CEUs must be earned within a specific renewal period as identified by your state. So if you need to earn a certain number of CEUs every two years, you can’t double up and apply extra hours to the following two years. They do not carry over.
Nursing Continuing Education Requirements by State
ALABAMA 24 contact hours every 2 years for RNs
ALASKA Every 2 years: 2 of the 3 are required for license renewal: 30 contact hours, OR 30 hours professional nursing activities, OR 320 hours nursing employment.
ARIZONA No CE Required.
ARKANSAS 15 contact hours every 2 years OR hold a current nationally recognized certification/recertification OR complete one college credit hour course in nursing with a grade of 2.0 or above.
CALIFORNIA 30 contact hours every two years.
COLORADO No CE Required.
CONNECTICUT No CE Required.
DC 24 contact hours every 2 years.
DELAWARE 30 contact hours every 2 years.
FLORIDA 24 contact hours of every 2 years: including 2 hours for medical errors, and 2 hours for FL Laws and Rules. 1 hour HIV/AIDS training (first renewal only.)2 additional hours of domestic violence CE every third renewal for a total of 26 hours.
GEORGIA Every 2 years, 5 different options - See State Board website.
HAWAII Every 2 years, 5 different options - See State Board website.
IDAHO No CE Required.
ILLINOIS 20 contact hours every two years.
INDIANA No CE Required.
IOWA 36 contact hours every 3 years. RNs who regularly examine, attend, counsel or treat dependent adults or children must complete 2 contact hours of training related to child/dependent adult abuse.
KANSAS 30 contact hours every 2 years.
KENTUCKY 14 contact hours every year or other approved, equivalent activity. See requirements page for details.
LOUISIANA Every year: 5 contact hours with 1600 practice hours, OR 10 contact hours with 160 practice hours, OR 15 contact hours.
MAINE CE not required.
MARYLAND No CE required, but an approved refresher course is needed.
MASSACHUSETTS 15 contact hours every 2 years.
MICHIGAN 25 contact hours every 2 years including 1 hour on pain and symptom management.
MINNESOTA 24 contact hours every 2 years.
MISSISSIPPI CE not required.
MISSOURI CE not required.
MONTANA 24 contact hours every 2 years. See state board website.
NEBRASKA 20 contact hours every 2 years, plus 500 practice hours every 5 years.
NEVADA 30 hours every two years. including the state-required bioterrorism course.
NEW HAMPSHIRE 30 contact hours every 2 years and 400 practice hours every 4 years.
NEW JERSEY 30 contact hours every 2 years.
NEW MEXICO 30 contact hours every 2 years.
NEW YORK 3 contact hours infection control every 4 years; 2 contact hours child abuse (one time requirement for initial license).
NORTH CAROLINA One of the following every two years: 15 contact hours and 640 hours of active practice, OR National certification or re-certification, OR 30 contact hours, OR completion of refresher course. Completion 2 semester hours of post-licensure academic education, OR 15 contact hours plus various other nursing-related activities. See website for further details.
NORTH DAKOTA 12 contact hours every two years.
OHIO 24contact hours every 2 years.
OKLAHOMA 24 contact hours every 2 years.
OREGON One-time requirement for 7 hours of pain management-related CE. One hour must be a course to be provided by the Oregon Pain Management Commission . Once this requirement is fulfilled, there is no additional CE requirements for renewal.
PENNSYLVANIA 30 contact hours every two years.
RHODE ISLAND 10 contact hours every 2 years including 2 hours of substance abuse CE.
SOUTH CAROLINA 30 contact hours every 2 years. May also show proof of competence by maintenance of certification by a national certifying body, completion of an academic program, or employer certification.
SOUTH DAKOTA CE not required.
TENNESSEE 5 contact hours every year for practicing nurses. Must be accompanied by two documents verifying competence or 10 contact hours annually for those not practicing and one additional document verifying competence.
TEXAS 20 contact hours every 2 years. Several mandatory CE requirements such as Nursing Jurisprudence, Ethics, Geriatric Care, and Forensic Collection.
UTAH One of the following every 2 years: 30 contact hours, OR 200 practice hours and 15 contact hours, OR 400 practice hours.
VERMONT No CE Required - Active Practice requirement.
VIRGINIA 15 contact hours every 2 years.
WASHINGTON 45 hours of CE Every 3 years.
WEST VIRGINIA 12 contact hours every year. Must include best prescribing and drug diversion training if licensee prescribes, administers, or dispenses controlled substances. Also mandatory training for mental health conditions common to veterans and their families.
WISCONSIN CE not required.
WYOMING One of the following: 500 practice hours in the last 2 years, 1600 practice hours in the last 5 years, 20 contact hours in the last 2 years, Completion of a refresher course in the last 5 years, Certification in a specialty area of nursing practice by a national accrediting agency in the last 5 years, Pass the NCLEX in the last 5 years.