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Approved Continuing Education (CE)
for Renewal FAQ


How do I know if an educational activity is acceptable?

The NDBON accepts, at face value, the number of hours awarded for an educational activity that has been approved for CE.  The CE must be approved by one of the following:

  • The North Dakota Board of Nursing
  • A health care regulatory board
  • A professional organization of any state that is nationally accredited to approve CE
  • An accredited college or university

The statement on my certificate states that the course meets the requirements for CE of another board of nursing.  Does this mean it is approved CE for my North Dakota nursing license renewal?

No.  Approval is a formal process that involves review of the program components prior to offering the CE.  A statement that the CE meets a requirement alone is not approval and therefore is not acceptable for CE required by the NDBON.

I am taking college courses.  Can I use these courses to meet my CE requirement?

Yes. Credit received for successful completion of a course taken through an accredited college or university may be used to meet the CE requirement. This is called "Academic Credit” and translates into contact hours as follows:

  • 10 contact hours = One academic quarter hour
  • 15 contact hours = One academic semester hour

I can't always get to the classes when they are offered. Can I get my CE at home?

Yes you may obtain CE through independent study activities taken through mail order courses or the internet.  There is no limit to the number of contact hours you may obtain through independent study.  
CAUTION! It is up to you to make sure that the educational activities you choose are acceptable to meet the CE requirement to renew your license. Look at the advertising for the course/function - approval should be mentioned.

I took a course that met the requirements for CE of another board of nursing. Does that mean it is approved CE?

No. Approval is a formal process that involves review of the program components. Meeting a requirement alone is not approval.

I taught a course that was approved for contact hours; can I use the contact hours to meet the CE requirement for renewal?

Yes, you may use the approved CE, up to six (6) contact hours, for teaching a course one time during a renewal period. The presentation or lecture must by outside of the normal duties of the job and approved for contact hours.

I had a nursing article published in a refereed journal, can I use contact hours to meet the CE requirement for renewal?

Yes, 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.   

The educational activity I took was not approved for CE.

The Board does not retroactively approve courses for CE. It is the responsibility of the course provider to get the activity approved for CE before you take it. If the educational activity was not approved for CE or you did not receive academic credit, you will not receive credit toward the CE required to renew your license.

I'm required by my employer to take CPR or Advanced Life Support Courses. Do these count?

No, not all educational activities completed are acceptable as CE. The following DO NOT MEET the CE requirement in ND:

  • Basic Life Support classes;
  • CPR classes;
  • Recertification Courses (shortened version) for Advanced Life Support Skills (ACLS, PALS, and NRP). Please note, the comprehensive Advanced Life Support Skills courses completed in their entirety may be used to meet CE requirements once each two-year licensure renewal cycle.
  • 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;
  • A personal development activity;
  • Community service or volunteer practice;
  • Board-ordered 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.

What happens if I did not complete my 12 credits of CE?

CE completed after December 31 in the year of renewal will be assessed a fee of $50 per contact hour earned after that date (i.e. - $600 for 12 contact hours done after December 31).

If audited, failure to provide proof of CE may result in sanctions against your nursing license (i.e. - $500 for LPN Reprimand or $600 for RN Reprimand).

Advanced Practice Prescriptive Authority CE


How many pharmacology specific CE contact hours are required for renewal of prescriptive authority?

Renewal requires 15 pharmacology CE contact hours in the past 2 years (24 months).

Must the pharmacology CE contact hours be indicated or itemized on the CE certificates for Prescriptive Authority?

Yes.  Only certificates which itemize pharmacology CE will be accepted.  

Does the NDBON accept UpToDate Certificates for the pharmacology CE requirement?

No. UpToDate activity certificates do NOT meet the requirement for pharmacology specific CE for prescriptive authority.


Board approved: 3/04
Reviewed/Revised:  9/20