North Carolina Nursing CE Requirements

Renewal cycle - 2 years | Renew Date - Last day of birth month

Registered Nurse (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) - The North Carolina Board of Nursing requires that RN's and LPN's complete continuing competence requirements each two year renewal period utilizing one of the following methods;  

  • Complete 30 contact hours of continuing education
  • Complete a Board approved refresher course
  • Complete a minimum of two semester hours of post-licensure academic training related to nursing practice
  • Obtain national certification or re-certification by a national credentialing body recognized by the Board

-- OR --

Completion of 15 contact hours of continuing education PLUS:

  • 640 hours of active practice within the previous 2 years
  • author / co-author a nursing related article, paper, book or chapter
  • develop and conduct a nursing CE presentation / presentations with a minimum of 5 contact hours
  • complete a nursing project as a principle investigator

Licensees are only required to submit evidence of continuing competence if requested to do so by the Board. Additional information can be found by visiting the North Carolina Board of Nursing website and continuing competence requirements. See also the continuing competence law G.S. § 90-171.23 (b) (20) as well as rule 21 NCAC 36.0232. 

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Nurse Practitioner Rule 21 NCAC 36.0807  states that Nurse Practitioners must earn 50 contact hours of CE each year beginning with the first renewal cycle with at least 20 contact hours meeting the formal criteria of approval granted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the Accreditation Council on Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), another national credentialing body or complete courses relevant to their practice from in an institution of higher learning. Additional information specific to CE for APRN's in North Carolina can be found here.  (MedCEC does not currently offer courses which meet this formal requirement for APRN's) 

Specific Course Requirements;

  • For APRN's who prescribe, one contact hour must include controlled substance prescribing practices, signs of the abuse or misuse of controlled substances, and controlled substance prescribing for chronic pain management.

MedCEC makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of CE requirement information for each state however information is subject to change without notice.

This is a summary of CE requirements, please verify current CE requirements by visiting the North Carolina Board of Nursing.