Nursing CEUs: The Complete Guide
Congratulations! As a nurse, you’ve signed up to be a lifelong learner. Completing nursing CEUs is now a regular facet of your career and understanding how and where to complete them can make all the difference in your success.
Use the Trusted CEU tool for an overview of a state’s specific nursing CEU requirements or click the state on the map for a more detailed understanding of their license renewal process.
*LPN requirements may vary, please click the link for more detailed requirements
What exactly is a CEU?
Nursing CEUs are continuing education units. They are a standard unit of measurement designed to keep you up to date on the newest techniques and practices in patient care and industry changes. Each state and Board of Nursing has different continuing education requirements but typically, 1 contact hour is equal to 10 hours of participation in a board-approved activity or educational course.
Where can I go to complete CEU requirements?
Most states will have a list on their Board of Nursing site with approved CEU providers however as long as the nursing CEU is approved by the ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center) it should be valid. You can search for credits through your employer, local colleges, conferences, and even online. Some (not all) states will even allow your certifications (BLS, ACLS, PALS etc) to count toward your requirements. Many CEUs are offered for low prices or even on occasion for free, you just have to know where to look. Check out this list of CEU providers below:
Tips for Managing CEUs
- Develop a system to track your nursing CEUs. Typically, after you complete a CEU requirement, you will receive a certificate of completion. Hold on to this in the event that you ever get audited or your credentials get called into question. You can use something as simple as Google Docs or Excel, or something more sophisticated like CEBroker.com.
- Only complete CE requirements during your license renewal period. Hours cannot be saved and applied to future renewal periods.
- If you are questioning whether a course or activity meets requirements, call your states BON before enrolling. As a nurse you are required to spend a good amount of time of continuing education and there are plenty of courses out there that meet these requirements. Taking a course or webinar that isn’t approved as a CEU could be frustrating and a waste of time.
- CEUs must be relevant to your nursing practice. Consider topics such as nursing education, research and theory, nursing practice, clinical technology, nursing implications, ethics of nursing and professional conduct.
- If you are a compact license holder, you are required to complete CE requirements for your primary or home state. Even if you are working in a compact state that doesn’t have CE requirements, if your home state does then you are required to complete them to obtain licensure. Check out our resource on the nurse licensure compact.