What Do You Need to Know About CE for Nurses? 

cme for nurses

Physicians aren’t alone in their continuing education requirements. Nursing continuing education is required in most states to ensure that nurses and nurse practitioners keep their knowledge up to date. What do you need to know about CME for nurses, and how can you fulfill your requirements? 

Why Do Nurses Need to Earn Continuing Education? 

As the medical industry advances, so must the knowledge nurses have. With new research and discoveries comes the need for changes to procedures and treatments. Nurses are required to stay up to date with these changes. With Continuing Education, nurses will improve their knowledge base in order to be prepared to care for patients. 

What Continuing Education Requirements do Nurses Have to Complete? 

As of this writing, 39 states, the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) and the territory of Guam require continuing education courses for nurses for license renewal every two to three years. Information about specific requirement information is available through your specific state nursing board. 

Nursing CE requirements can include specific courses on domestic violence, workplace impairment, Pharmacotherapeutics, and other areas, as well as any course that fulfills state mandates. RNs and LPNs must meet all requirements in the state of residence for license renewal.  

When is Continuing Education Due for Nurses? 

All Nursing CE requirements must be completed during the renewal period immediately preceding the license expiration date. 

For example, if a nurse in a state with biennial licensure renewal is required to renew by December 31 2023, then CE requirements must be completed between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2023. 

In many states, newly licensed nurses are exempt from CE requirements for the first renewal period. Check with your specific state board to verify if you are exempt. 

Online CME for Nurses 

A popular and convenient source of CME for nurses is online education. There are a number of options for online courses, including webinars, seminars, and question banks. Online education may also include audio files and videos. These sources allow nurses to earn CE credits on their own time. 

In-Person CME Options  

Traditional in-person education is available for nurses seeking CE credits. These in-person options can vary from conferences to multi-day seminars. In-person education can be led by experts, education institutes, and vendors, and often includes hands-on training. Employers who are accredited to provide CE credits can provide in-services to employees and the general nursing community for continuing education credit.   

How much does CME for Nurses Cost? 

The cost for nursing CEUs varies based on the education format chosen, but can range from free to several hundred dollars. For example, in-person seminars require additional expenses for travel and lodging. Some costs can be tax deductible – consult your tax adviser to determine this status. Many employers also offer financial assistance. 


The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is the gold standard in accrediting continuing education for nurses. States and other education institutes follow their lead in developing courses for nursing continuing education. Before selecting which CEUs work for you, make sure to check that your source meets with ANCC standards and is accepted in your state.   


BoardVitals offers contact hours for nursing specialties/certifications for the following: 

BoardVitals offers CME activities accredited for up to 100 AMA PRA Category 1™ Credit(s) in more than 30 medical specialties including CME Pro Plus activities for practitioners with CME allowances. 

The writing staff at BoardVitals is passionate about medicine, healthcare, and education. We’ve trained over 1.5 million physicians and work with more than 300 top teaching institutions. Learn more about our board review and continuing education products at boardvitals.com.

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