State Guide: Continuing Education Requirements for Nurses

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Written by Jeanne Kal Senior Manager, B2C Content, IntelyCare
RN with short blonde hair outside with her arms crossed and waiting to complete continuing education requirements for nurses.

As a nursing professional, you’re learning all the time, whether it’s on the job, catching up with the latest healthcare developments in your downtime, or pursuing your continuing education requirements. For nurses, that last part can mean a number of things — it all depends on which state you’re licensed in.

Typically, as an RN or LPN, you’ll need to accrue some kind of continuing education within a two-year period in order to maintain your license and be considered for nursing jobs. Some states simply require a set amount of contact hours in order for you to renew your nursing license, while other states have mandated courses that you must complete. For example, your state may have you complete training on HIV/AIDS, child abuse recognition and reporting, and/or pain management.

What Are NCPD Nursing Hours?

You may have seen continuing education referred to as CEs or CEUs in the past. However, the American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC) — the leading accrediting body for continuing education requirements for nurses — updated the terminology by which we talk about continuing education. In 2019, the switch was made from continuing nursing education (CNE) to nursing continuing professional development (NCPD). NCPD is the term preferred by the ANCC. One contact hour of CE/CNE credit is the same as one contact hour of NCPD.

How to Find ANCC Accredited Providers

Before you commit to a class, nurse conference, or workshop that claims you will earn NCPD nursing contact hours by attending, you want to be certain that your time is, in fact, going to count. The ANCC makes it simple to verify a provider. Visit their site and search their database of accredited organizations and programs. You can search by state or internationally.

If you’re looking for a trusted source, IntelyEdu offers a variety of continuing education courses for nursing professionals. Check out what’s currently available today.

Continuing Education Requirements for Nurses in the U.S.

The following table is a quick reference guide for RNs and LPNs/LVNs. For the most up-to-date information about continuing education requirements for nurses in your state, it’s always best to do your due diligence and check with your state board of nursing.

Alabama

RN/LPN: 24 contact hours every 2 years

Alabama Board of Nursing

Learn more about the Alabama nursing license renewal process.

Alaska

RN/LPN: Every 2 years, 2 of 3 are required:

  • 30 contact hours
  • 30 hours professional nursing activities
  • 320 hours of nursing employment

Alaska Board of Nursing

Learn more about the Alaska nursing license renewal requirements.

Arizona

RN/LPN: No requirements.

Arizona Board of Nursing

Learn more about the Arizona nursing license renewal process here.

Arkansas 

RN/LPN: Every 2 years, 15 contact hours.

Arkansas State Board of Nursing

Learn more about renewing a nursing license in Arkansas.

California

Colorado

RN/LPN: No requirements.

Colorado Board of Nursing

Learn more about the Colorado nursing license renewal steps.

Connecticut

RNs and LPNs actively practicing and applying for license renewal after January 1, 2022, and once every 6 years thereafter, are required to complete 2 contact hours of training or education on both:

  • Screening for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, risk of suicide, depression and grief
  • Suicide prevention training

1 contact hour = at least 50 minutes of instruction.

Board of Examiners for Nursing

Learn more about the CT nursing license renewal steps.

Delaware

RN: Every 2 years: 30 contact hours, 3 of which must be in substance abuse.

LPN: Every 2 years: 24 contact hours, 3 of which must be in substance abuse.

Delaware Board of Nursing

Learn more about the Delaware nursing license renewal process.

District of Columbia

RN: Every 2 years, 24 contact hours; 3 contact hours on HIV/AIDS and 2 contact hours on LGBTQ+ topics are required.

LPN: Every 2 years, 18 contact hours; 3 contact hours on HIV/AIDS and 2 contact hours on LGBTQ+ topics are required.

DC Board of Nursing

Florida

RN/LPN: 24 hours of appropriate CE during each renewal period, including

  • 2 hours relating to prevention of medical errors
  • 2 hours in Laws and Rules in Nursing
  • 2 hours in Human Trafficking
  • 2 hours in Recognizing Impairment in the Workplace every 4 years

In addition to these 24 hours of general CE, every third renewal requires 2 hours of domestic violence CE that must be completed for a total of 26 hours.

Learn more about how to renew a nursing license in Florida.

Florida Board of Nursing

Georgia

RN: Every 2 years, RNs have five options to choose from to satisfy the continuing competency requirements. Among your choices are 30 hours of contact hours. Learn more about your options in Georgia.

LPN: Every 2 years, 20 contact hours OR completion of an accredited academic program of study in registered professional nursing, as recognized by the board. Learn more about LPN requirements in GA.

Learn more about Georgia nursing license renewal steps.

Hawaii

RN/LPN: Every two years, RNs and LPNs must complete one of the learning activity options required for continuing competency, which can include

  • 30 contact hours
  • Completion of a board-approved refresher course
  • National certification of recertification related to the nurse’s practice role

Learn more options available at the Hawaii Board of Nursing.

Check out our guide to Hawaii nursing license renewals.

Idaho

RN/LPN: Every 2 years, 15 contact hours.

Learn about more options at the Idaho Board of Nursing.

Illinois

RN/LPN: Every 2 years, 20 contact hours.

Learn more about how to renew a nursing license in Illinois.

Illinois Nursing Workforce Center

Indiana

There are no RN/LPN continuing education requirements in Indiana.

Learn more about the Indiana nursing license renewal steps.

Iowa

RN/LPN: Every 3 years, 36 contact hours.

Learn more about how to renew a nursing license in Iowa.

Iowa Board of Nursing

Kansas

RN/LPN: Every 2 years, 30 contact hours.

Kansas Board of Nursing

Learn more about Kansas nursing license renewal.

Kentucky

RN/LPN: Every year, 14 contact hours.

Note: All nurses must complete mandatory continuing education in suicide prevention and implicit bias.

Kentucky Board of Nursing

Learn more about the Kentucky nursing license renewal process.

Louisiana

RN: Every 2 years, either 30 contact hours OR a minimum of 900 practice hours.

LPN: No continuing education requirements.

Louisiana Board of Nursing

Learn more about nursing license renewals in Louisiana.

Maine

RN/LPN: No continuing education requirements.

Maine Board of Nursing

Learn more about nursing license renewals in Maine here.

Maryland

RN/LPN: For license renewal, complete one of the following:

  • Every 2 years, 30 contact hours
  • Every 5 years, board-approved nursing education program
  • Every 5 years, 1,000 hours of active nursing practice

Maryland Department of Health

Learn more about the Maryland nursing license renewal process.

Massachusetts

RN/LPN: Every 2 years, 15 contact hours.

Learn more about the Massachusetts nursing license renewal process.

Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Michigan

RN/LPN: Every 2 years, 25 contact hours, including:

  • 2 hours on pain and pain symptom management

Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

Learn more about the Michigan nursing license renewal steps.

Minnesota

RN: Every 2 years, 24 contact hours.

LPN: Every 2 years, 12 contact hours.

Minnesota Board of Nursing

Learn more about the Minnesota nursing license renewal steps.

Mississippi

RN/LPN: If you’ve been out of practice for over 5 years, you need 20 contact hours earned in the previous 2-year period immediately prior to such application toward satisfying the requirement.

Mississippi Board of Nursing

Learn more about the Mississippi nursing license renewal process.

Missouri

RN/LPN: No continuing education required.

Learn more about the Missouri nursing license renewal process.

Missouri Division of Professional Registration

Montana

RN/LPN: Every 2 years, 24 contact hours.

Montana Department of Labor and Industry

Learn more about the Montana nursing license renewal process.

Nebraska

RN/LPN: Every 2 years, 20 contact hours.

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services

Learn more about the Nebraska nursing license renewal steps.

Nevada

RN/LPN: Every 2 years, 30 contact hours, including a 2-hour cultural competency course every renewal cycle.

Nevada Board of Nursing

Learn more about the Nevada nursing license renewal process.

New Hampshire

New Jersey

RN/LPN: Every 2 years, 30 contact hours.

New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs

Learn more about the New Jersey nursing license renewal process.

New Mexico

RN/LPN: Every 2 years, 30 contact hours.

New Mexico Board of Nursing

Check out our guide to the New Mexico nursing license renewal process.

New York

RN/LPN: Complete NYSED approved infection control coursework every 4 years or qualify for an exemption.

Learn more about the New York nursing license renewal process.

New York State Education Department

North Carolina

RN/LPN: Every 2 years, you have an option of ways to satisfy your requirements. Among the options:

  • 15 contact hours and 640 hours of active practice
  • 30 contact hours
  • Board-approved refresher course

Learn more about the NC nursing license renewal process, and see what else qualifies as continuing competence requirements in North Carolina.

North Dakota

RN/LPN: Every 2 years, 12 contact hours.

North Dakota Board of Nursing

Ohio

RN/LPN: Every 2 years, 24 contact hours that includes at least 1 contact hour of Category A continuing education for each renewal.

Learn more about the Ohio nursing license renewal steps.

Ohio Board of Nursing

Oklahoma

RN/LPN: Every 2 years, complete one of the following

  • Employment in a position that requires a registered nurse/practical nurse license with verification of at least 520 work hours
  • Completion of 24 contact hours of continuing education applicable to nursing practice
  • Current certification in a nursing specialty area
  • Completion of a Board-approved refresher course
  • Completion of 6 academic semester credit hours of nursing coursework at the licensee’s current level of licensure or higher.

Oklahoma Board of Nursing

Learn more about the Oklahoma nursing license renewal process.

Oregon

RN/LPN: The following is required

  • 2 hours of cultural competency education
  • a one-time requirement of 6 hours in pain management and/or treatment of the terminally ill and dying patients
  • one-hour course provided by the state’s Pain Management Commission of the Department of Human Services

Learn more at the Oregon State Board of Nursing in the Education section.

Check out our guide to the Oregon nursing license renewal process.

Pennsylvania

RN: Every 2 years, 30 contact hours, including 2 hours of approved training in child abuse recognition and reporting.

LPN: No requirements, however, every 2 years you must complete 2 hours of approved training in child abuse recognition and reporting.

 

Learn more about the PA nursing license renewal process, and visit the Pennsylvania Department of State for more answers to your questions.

Rhode Island

RN/LPN: Every 2 years, 10 continuing education hours, 2 of which must be about substance abuse.

Rhode Island Department of Health

Learn more about the RI nursing license renewal steps.

South Carolina

RN/LPN: Every 2 years, you must complete one of the following:

  • 30 contact hours from a continuing education provider recognized by the board
  • Maintenance of certification or re-certification by a national certifying body recognized by the board
  • Completion of an academic program of study in nursing or a related field recognized by the board
  • Verification of competency and the number of hours practiced as evidenced by employer certification on a form approved by the board.

South Carolina Board of Nursing

Learn more about the South Carolina nursing license renewal process.

South Dakota

RN/LPN: No continuing education required.

South Dakota Department of Health

Tennessee

RNs/LPNs: If you are practicing: Every 2 years, you have many options to satisfy state requirements. One way is 5 contact hours. If you are not practicing, you must complete 10 contact hours.

See the Tennessee Board of Nursing for other continuing education options.

Learn more about Tennessee nursing license renewal requirements.

Texas

RN/LPN: Every 2 years, you must complete one of the following:

  • 20 contact hours in the nurse’s area of practice
  • Demonstrate the achievement, maintenance, or renewal of a Board-approved national nursing certification in the nurse’s area of practice.

Read more about the Texas nursing license renewal process.

Texas Board of Nursing

Utah

RN/LPN: Every two years, you must complete one of the following

  • Licensed practice of at least 400 hours
  • At least 200 hours with 15 hours of approved continuing education
  • 30 hours of approved continuing education

AND

  • Complete an approved online suicide prevention training.

Utah Division of Professional Licensing

Learn more about renewing a Utah nursing license.

Vermont

RN/LPN: No continuing education requirements.

Vermont Secretary of State

Check out our guide to Vermont nursing license renewals.

Virginia

RN/LPN: You must complete at least one of the following:

  • Current specialty certification by a national certifying organization
  • Minimum of 3 credit hours of post-licensure academic education relevant to nursing practice, offered by a regionally accredited college or university
  • A board-approved refresher course in nursing
  • Completion of nursing-related, evidence-based practice project or research study
  • Completion of publication as the author or co-author during a renewal cycle
  • Teaching or developing a nursing-related course resulting in no less than 3 semester hours of college credit, a 15-week course, or specialty certification
  • Teaching or developing nursing-related continuing education courses for up to 30 contact hours
  • 15 contact hours of workshops, seminars, conferences, or courses relevant to the practice of nursing and 640 hours of active practice as a nurse OR
  • 30 contact hours of workshops, seminars, conferences, or courses relevant to the practice of nursing

Learn more about the Virginia nursing license renewal process, and visit the Virginia Board of Nursing for more information.

Washington

RN/LPN:

  • 8 continuing education hours
  • 96 practice hours due every year
  • Complete e-Notify registration and survey online at Nursys

Washington State Board of Nursing

Learn more about the Washington State nursing license renewal process.

West Virginia

RN: Every 2 years, 12 hours of continuing education. This includes required continuing education for drug diversion training, best-practice prescribing of controlled substances training and training on prescribing and administration of an opioid antagonist if they prescribe, administer or dispense controlled substances, within 1 year of receiving his or her initial license from the Board.

For more information on RN requirements, visit the West Virginia Board of Nursing.

LPN: Every 2 years, 24 contact hours of continuing education and engage in 400 clock hours of LPN practice. For more information, see the West Virginia State Board of Examiners for Licensed Practical Nurses.

Learn more about WV nursing license renewal steps.

Wisconsin

RN/LPN: No continuing education requirements.

State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services

Learn more about the Wisconsin nursing license renewal process.

Wyoming

RN/LPN: Every 2 years, you must have:

  • 400 hours of active nursing practice

OR

  • 200 hours of active nursing practice and 15 hours of continuing education

If you have less than 200 hours of active nursing practice, you must complete 30 hours of continuing education.

Wyoming Board of Nursing

Learn more about how to renew your nursing license in Wyoming.

Complete Your Requirements With IntelyCare

Need help completing mandated working hours as part of the continuing education requirements for nurses in your state? Learn how IntelyCare can keep you up to date on the latest nursing opportunities. We can help you find specialty nursing roles in your areas of interest.