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Renewal Requirements FAQ

Practice Requirements

Are there practice requirements for license renewal in North Dakota?
Yes, all individuals renewing a nursing license must meet or exceed 400 hours of nursing practice in the preceding four years.  Hours practiced in another regulated profession cannot be used for nursing practice hours.

  • Nurses who have completed a refresher course within the preceding year or graduated from a nursing undergraduate or nursing graduate program in the last four years with less than 400 hours of nursing practice will be able to renew their license without meeting this requirement.

Continuing Education Requirements

Is continuing education (CE) required for license renewal in North Dakota?
Yes, all individuals renewing a nursing license must complete 12 contact hours of CE obtained within the preceding 2 years.

  • 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 nursing license.  The requirements have been met through the academic coursework.
  • An applicant for reactivation of a license can use a refresher course contact hours for the first renewal cycle after reactivation of a license.
  • 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.  These contact hours may fulfill the registered nurse renewal continuing education requirement.

Am I required to obtain continuing education in specific areas?
No

What is the time frame for getting my continuing education?
The continuing education is to be completed within the 2 years prior to the expiration date on the license.

How much continuing education should I get?
LPN, RN, APRN – Each person licensed as a Licensed Practical Nurse, a Registered Nurse, or an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse in ND must complete at least 12 contact hours of approved CE to renew their license. 

APRN with Prescriptive Authority – Advanced Practice Registered Nurse with Prescriptive Authority must complete 15 contact hours of CE related to pharmacology.  These 15 contact hours may fulfill the RN/APRN renewal contact hour requirements of 12 CE.  

I completed 40 contact hours last licensure period and only needed 12. Does that mean that I can use the other 28 hours for this licensure period?
No! Contact hours do not carry over from one license renewal period to another.  You must complete at least 12 contact hours of approved CE in each license renewal period in order to renew a license to practice nursing in North Dakota.

What if I am unable to complete the required contact hours needed for renewal.  Can I get an extension?
No, the Board does not issue extensions - the continuing education must be met before renewal.  Failure to meet the CE requirement may result in disciplinary action and penalty fees.

I am currently maintaining my certification in another health care profession.  Can I use the continuing education to fulfill my license renewal requirements for contact hours? 
The North Dakota Board of Nursing will accept, at face value, the number of hours awarded for an educational activity that has been approved for CE, provided it was approved by one of the following:

  • The North Dakota Board of Nursing
  • A health care regulatory board or professional organization of any state that is nationally/internationally accredited to approve CE.
  • Credit received for successful completion of a course taken through an accredited college or university may be used to meet the CE requirement.  Contact hours obtained for renewal of license or certification in another regulated profession cannot be used for maintaining nursing licensure.

Do I send my CE records to the Board?
No.  Send your CE records ONLY if you have received a "Notice of Continuing Education Audit" from the North Dakota Board of Nursing.

Who keeps track of my Continuing Education?
You do!!  As a professional, you are responsible for keeping track of your own CE records. You must keep your CE documents for at least 4 years. The Board may audit your CE records for up to 4 years.

Then how does the Board know I met the Continuing Education Requirement?
Each time you renew your license you MUST verify through attesting to the statement on the renewal form that you have completed the 12 contact hours. 

But, I was just licensed in North Dakota for the first time!!
License by Exam - If you recently received your first license in North Dakota and took an examination to receive it, and this is your first renewal of that nursing license, you are NOT REQUIRED to have completed CE courses.  You have met the requirement through your academic coursework and MUST verify through attesting to the statement on the renewal form.

License by Endorsement - If you recently received your first license in North Dakota and have moved from another state, you are considered to have received your license or certificate by "ENDORSEMENT". Even though this may be your first renewal you MUST verify through attesting to the statement on the renewal form that you have completed the required 12 contact hours. Credit received for successful completion of a course taken through an accredited college or university may be used to meet the CE requirement.

I 'm not working right now.
Whether you are working or not has no bearing on your CE requirement.  The CE requirement is directly related to renewal of your license in ND.

View the Approved Continuing Education FAQ here

I don't plan to renew my license. What do I need to do?
Inactive Status – If you do not renew your license it will be on "Inactive Status".
You may not work as a nurse if your license is on inactive status.  There is an additional fee to reactivate a license from an inactive status. 

 

Board approved: 3/04
Reviewed/Revised:  05/17