A continuing education (CE) allowance should not be a reason to take or not take a new nurse practitioner (NP) position, but it is definitely a job perk to explore and consider. Employers vary widely when providing a CE allowance in the amount and the stipulations of how the money can be used for nurse practitioners, physicians assistants (PA), and physicians.
What is a CE allowance?
A CE allowance may be part of an employer’s nurse practitioner benefits package. The point of this job benefit is to help cover expenses from nursing licensure and certification, DEA renewal, some memberships, conferences, and of course, the cost of CEs. On average, NPs and PAs can expect around $2,000 for an annual CE allowance, but the amount can range anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000.
Between licensure and certification renewal periods, NPs have to earn CE hours to maintain their state license and additional CE hours to maintain their national certification. Typically, between the two, this can equal 150 to 250 CE hours over the course of five years depending on the state and national certification.
Prior to the pandemic, a $2,000 allowance was plenty to pay the entry to a conference and travel expenses. However, many conferences have been cancelled or been moved virtually post-pandemic. Therefore, providers who previously relied on conference attendance, are utilizing online CE sources, such as, BoardVitals, where they can conveniently earn all of their CE hours online at home, throughout the year. The average CE stipend of $2,000 is enough to cover online learning as well.
Despite the post-pandemic changes to jobs, conferences, and CE learning, the CE allowance for new nurse practitioners should not change. This amount will remain beneficial no matter how you earn CE hours. Therefore, it is still acceptable to assume at least the average allowance when signing on to a new NP job.