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Continuing Education
Renewal Requirements Policy 

In order to renew a license a licensee must demonstrate successful completion of 12 contact hours of continuing education (CE) within the preceding two years. A licensee who earns in excess of the number of contact hours of continuing education required during a reporting period shall not apply the excess hours to satisfy future continuing education requirements.

The Board determined in Section 54-05-03.1-11 that an APRN with Prescriptive Authority must complete fifteen (15) contact hours of education during the previous two (2) years in pharmacotherapy related to the scope of practice.  Only certificates which itemize pharmacology CE will be accepted.  UpToDate activity certificates do not meet the requirement for pharmacology specific CE.  These contact hours may fulfill the registered nurse renewal continuing education requirement.

  1. Contact hours of continuing education are calculated as follows:
    1. 1 contact hour (CH) = 60 minutes of instruction = 0.1 CEU
    2. 1 contact hour = One Continuing Medical Education (CME)  
    3. 10 contact hours  = One continuing education unit (CEU)
    4. 10 contact hours  = One academic quarter hour
    5. 15 contact hours  = One academic semester hour
  • An applicant that obtained initial licensure through examination will not need to complete any contact hours of approved continuing education before that first renewal of a nursing license.  The requirements have been met through the academic coursework.
  • An applicant for reactivation of a license can use the refresher course contact hours for the first renewal cycle after reactivation of a license.
  1. A licensee may receive credit equivalent to the contact hour calculations described above for successful completion of a course taken through an accredited college or university to meet the CE requirement. 
  2. Evidence of publication of one article related to nursing practice in a refereed journal, one book chapter, or research project published in the license renewal time frame may be submitted for verification of the 12 contact hours. 
  3. Evidence of participation as a presenter or lecturer for content related to nursing practice is allowable, but contact hours may not total more than 6 contact hours. A presentation or lecture of sixty minutes or more may not be used more than once in a renewal cycle. 
  4. The presentation or lecture must be outside the normal duties of the position and approved for contact hours.
  5. The licensee must retain an original certificate of completion of continuing education for a period of not less than two (2) renewal cycles.
  6. The licensee should not submit documentation of completion of continuing education unless requested for audit purposes, i.e. certificates, transcripts.
  7. Programs offered by approved providers of continuing education will be accepted as long as they meet the other requirements included in this policy. 
  8. Board recognized providers of continuing education include:
    1. The North Dakota Board of Nursing.
    2. An accredited college or university.
    3. A health care regulatory board
    4. A professional organization that is nationally accredited to approve CE.
  9. Appropriate subject matter which is acceptable as continuing education includes:
    1. Social, legal and ethical aspects of nursing practice.
    2. Content related to nursing practice.
    3. Quality assurance, accrediting or regulation standards and processes
    4. Courses required for progression in a nursing program.
  10. Unacceptable subject matter or course contents that DO NOT MEET the CE requirement in ND:
    • Basic Life Support classes;
    • CPR classes;
    • Advanced Skills Renewal Courses (ACLS, PALS, NALS, etc)
    • Repetition of any educational activity with identical content and objectives within a single reporting period;
    • Agency specific orientation or in-service programs;
    • Self-directed independent study activities that have not been approved for CE; 
    • Community service or volunteer practice;
    • Administrative or disciplinary CE;
    • Membership in a professional nursing organization; 
    • Professional meetings or conventions except for those portions approved for CE;
    • UpToDate activity certificates do not meet the requirement for Pharmacology specific CE for Prescriptive Authority.
  11. Audit Process
    • At least two percent (2%) of the renewal applications will be subject to random audit per renewal cycle.  A licensee who submits inaccurate or falsified documentation or fails to meet the CE requirement will be subject to disciplinary action based on Chapter 54-02-07-01.1(7)(13)(18).
  12. A licensee who fails to comply with a request for documents within the appropriate time frame will be subject to disciplinary action.
  13. It is the responsibility of the licensee to verify appropriate credit designation with the source of the program. 

Board Approved: 03/04
Reviewed/Revised: 08/18