Mandatory Continuing Education Requirement
Can hours earned from a CPR course be applied to the 24 hour continuing education requirement for licensure renewal?
Hours earned after the completion of a Basic Life Support (BLS) course or an Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) recertification course can’t be applied towards the 24 hour continuing education requirement for purposes of licensure renewal.
The Florida Board of Nursing adopted the position of the ANCC, effective as of June 1, 2011.
The following courses ceased to offer continuing education renewal credit as of June 1, 2011:
- CPR/AED certification and re-certification courses, Basic Life Support (BLS) certification and re-certification courses, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) re-certification courses
- Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) re-certification courses, and Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) re-certification courses
Continuing education renewal credit will still be permitted for the following:
- Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification courses, Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certification courses, and Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) certification courses
The ANCC disseminated the rationale in August 2009:
- BLS is no longer an augment to the nurse’s basic knowledge. Therefore it doesn’t meet the definition of continuing nursing education. Universities now require the student to be certified in BLS before ever entering the academic program. BLS is not an augmentation of knowledge; it is a basic preparation for training.
The advanced life support activities meet the definition of CNE because they are not included in the nurse’s basic training and therefore augment that training.
Has there been a change to CE requirement rules and regulations?
Yes, a new CE requirement was added during the 2017 legislative session.
s.464.013(6)(C), F.S. now includes a new CE requirement for all Florida nursing professionals.
The Board shall require each person licensed or certified under this chapter to complete a 2 hour CE course on human trafficking, as defined in s.787.06(2).
All nursing professionals must complete this course every biennium beginning January 1, 2019. The first licensees who will need to fulfill this CE requirement are those renewing April 30, 2019.
The course must consists of data and information on all of the following:
• The types of human trafficking
• Factors that place a person at greater risk of being a victim of human trafficking
• Public and private social services available for rescue, food, clothing and shelter referrals
• Hotlines for reporting human trafficking which are maintained by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center and the United States Department of Homeland Security
• Validated assessment tools for identifying a human trafficking victim and general indicators that a person may be a victim of human trafficking
• Procedures for sharing information related to human trafficking with a patient
• Referral options for legal and social services
Are nurses required to complete the new Human Trafficking continuing education course if they qualify for the CE exemption, as outlined in Section 464.013, FS?
Yes, all nurses are required to complete this mandatory course for
licensure bienniums ending after January 1, 2019,
including those nurses who qualify
for the CE exemption.
Where can I find CE providers?
You can find approved CE providers by visiting www.cebroker.com
I passed the NCLEX in the last year. How many contact hours do I need to renew my license?
Nurses licensed by examination, in any state, during the current renewal period are exempt from continuing education requirements for the first renewal period, with the exception of the required 2 hour course in Prevention of Medical Errors, 2 hour course in Laws and Rules that govern the practice of Nursing (beginning with the biennium ending in 2015), and 1 hour course in HIV/AIDS. This exemption is lost if the license is not renewed by the renewal deadline.
I endorsed in from another state. How many contact hours do I need to renew my license?
Most initial licenses are not valid for the full 2 years. One (1) contact hour is required for each month, or partial month, of the licensure cycle, including two (2) hours on Prevention of Medical Errors and two (2) hours on Laws and Rules that govern the practice of Nursing (beginning with the biennium ending in 2015). HIV/AIDS is now a one-time, 1-hour CE requirement to be completed prior to the first renewal. Domestic Violence (DV) CE is now a 2-hour requirement for every third renewal. For example, if you renew your license on July 31, 2008 and completed DV during the 2006-2008 licensure cycle, you are required to complete the Domestic Violence CE before the July 31, 2014 renewal. Applicants who took the exam during the current renewal cycle should see the FAQ that asks “I passed the NCLEX in the last year. How many contact hours do I need to renew my license?”
How many contact hours do I need for a full biennium?
All Florida-licensed LPNs, RNs, and APRNs are now in a 24-month renewal cycle and must complete 24 hours of appropriate continuing education during each renewal period. The 24 hours must include two (2) hours on Prevention of Medical Errors, two (2) hours in Laws and Rules that govern the practice of Nursing, (2) hours in recognizing impairment in the workplace and every other biennium thereafter (every 4 years), effective August 1, 2017 and two (2) hours on Human Trafficking, as defined in s.787.06(2), F.S., effective October 1, 2017. HIV/AIDS is now a one-time, 1- hour CE requirement to be completed prior to the first renewal. Domestic Violence (DV) CE is now a 2 hour requirement every third renewal (every 6 years). Since Domestic Violence (DV) is a 2-hour requirement, the licensee will have 26 hours of CE during the renewal period when DV is taken.
Can I use college courses for continuing education?
Yes. Contact hours may be awarded for completion of credit courses in nursing at an accredited institution of higher learning. However, general education may not be used for C.E. credit. One college course that meets 3 hours a week for 15 weeks is worth 45 CE hours. When you visit https://cebroker.com/, you will need to select “Report CE,” and then select the dropdown option for “College or University Courses Directly Related to Nursing” to input this information.
For assistance, you can contact CE Broker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-434-6323.
How do college courses convert to contact hours?
One credit hour per quarter converts to ten contact hours. One credit hour per semester converts to fifteen contact hours. In order to receive continuing education credit, retain transcripts or legible dated grade reports for four years in case you are audited.
Can I use hours I have earned in another state?
Yes. Continuing education (CE) courses approved by a state or national nursing organization empowered to accredit CE standards can be used, pursuant to Rule 64B9-5.004, F.A.C., unless the offering falls into the mandatory CE category. All mandatory courses must be offered by a Florida Board of Nursing approved provider.
I have earned over 26 hours of continuing education units (CEUs). Can I carry the balance over to the next renewal period?
No, all CEUs must be earned within your renewal period and cannot be carried over to the next biennium. Also, CEs taken prior to the issuance of a permanent license cannot be counted towards renewal requirements.
I have received my renewal notice and have not completed all of my required contact hours. Can I mail my renewal in and complete my hours later?
No. Nurses must complete CE requirements within the appropriate biennium. By sending in your renewal and fee you are affirming that you have complied with all licensure renewal requirements.
How many contact hours can I earn through Home Study?
The Board imposes no limit on the number of contact hours earned through Home Study.
Can nurses take courses that offer Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits?
Only APRNs may earn CME. APRNs may use CME for up to half of the mandatory CE requirements.
How do I become a CE Provider?
Please visit www.CEBroker.com for the application to become a CE provider.
How many continuing education hours are required for licensure renewal?
Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses, and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses are required to complete 24 hours of appropriate CE during each renewal period, including two (2) hours relating to prevention of medical errors, two (2) hours in Laws and Rules in Nursing, (2) hours in Human Trafficking, and (2) hours in Recognizing Impairment in the Workplace every other biennium (every 4 years). In addition to these 24 hours of general CE, every third renewal two (2) hours of domestic violence CE must be completed for a total of 26 hours. APRN must also complete (3) hours in Safe and Effective Prescription of Controlled Substances. See Sections 456.013, 456.031, and 456.033, Florida Statutes, and Rule 64B9-5, Florida Administrative Code (FAC) for more information about continuing education requirements.
A nurse who is certified by a health care specialty program accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies or the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification is exempt from continuing education requirements. This exemption includes general and mandatory nursing continuing education with the exception of Human Trafficking and Safe and Effective Prescription of Controlled Substances.
Nurses who hold both a RN and APRN license may use the same credit hours toward both licenses but must make sure to report them under both licenses for CE compliance.
How many continuing education hours should be within a nurse’s specialty?
Employers may require completion of agency/facility specific continuing education (CE). If you have questions regarding specific CE for your agency/facility, please speak with your supervisor.
Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses, Clinical Nurse Specialists and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners are required to complete 24 hours of appropriate CE during each renewal period, including two (2) hours relating to prevention of medical errors. In addition to these 24 hours of general CE, every third renewal two (2) hours of domestic violence CE must be completed for a total of 26 hours. See Rule 64B9-5, Florida Administrative Code (FAC) for more information about continuing education requirements.
Can I use my specialty nursing certification to fulfill the continuing education requirements to renew my license?
A nurse who is certified by a health care specialty program accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies or the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification is exempt from continuing education requirements. This must be reported to the Department’s tracking system powered by CE Broker.
Please note: The CE exemption based on certification does not apply to the 3 hour Safely Prescribing Controlled Substances course requirement nor the 2 hour Human Trafficking course requirement.
Why is continuing education being verified at renewal?
Continuing Education is a requirement to renew a professional license. Section 456.025(7), F.S. requires the Department to implement an electronic continuing education tracking system for each biennial renewal cycle and to integrate such system into the licensure and renewal system. The two systems are now integrated.
What will happen if I do not have the required continuing education for renewal?
The Department of Health, Medical Quality Assurance will verify a practitioner’s continuing education record in the electronic tracking system at the time of renewal. Practitioners will be able to view their course history in the continuing education tracking system free of charge. The course history will show all the courses that have been reported for the practitioner.
If the practitioner’s continuing education records are not complete, they will be prompted to enter their remaining continuing education hours before proceeding with their license renewal. If the practitioner does not have the hours to report, the license will move to a delinquent status at expiration. In order to renew a delinquent license , the practitioner will be required to complete the continuing education requirements. Additional fees may apply.
Do I have to wait until license renewal to report my continuing education credits to the electronic tracking system?
No, you can report your hours free of charge anytime during the biennium by registering for the Free Basic Account. The Department encourages you to report early to avoid a delay in the license renewal process. For more information please visit www.CEatRenewal.com.
Please note, if you take a course from a Florida Board approved Provider they are required to report on your behalf. If you take a course from a National organization it is your responsibility to report completion.
Does the continuing education provider report my completed continuing education units?
If you take a course from a Florida Board approved Provider, they are required to report on your behalf. If you take a course from a National organization, it is your responsibility to report completion.