“Continuing Education” – That state nursing mandate that nags at nurses for the entire length of their career… That is, unless you find yourself practicing in one of these 14 states:
AZ, CO, CT, HI, ID, IN, ME, MD, MI, MO, SD, TN, VT, WI
Georgia was one of those states, however it will start checking competency (through CEUs or other optional methods) starting in January of 2016.
Oregon only requires a one-time 7 CEU in pain management, and if you’re in Wyoming and have passed the NCLEX within the last 5 years, you don’t have any CEU requirements!
For the rest of us Americans, the required hours and length of time to achieve the total CEUs varies by state nursing boards. New York has one of the lowest requirements with a one-time 2 CEUs in child abuse and then 3 CEUs in infection control every 4 years. Rhode Island is also pretty relaxed, with a requirement of only 10 hours every 2 years.
West Virginia requires 12 CEUs/year while Kentucky requires 14 CEUs/year. Louisiana has an interesting annual requirement where full-time nurses – 5 CEUs, part-time nurses – 10 CEUs, and unemployed nurses (or limited hours) – 15 CEUs.
The following states require 30 CEUS every 2 years:
CA, DE, KS, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NV, PA, SC, UT*, VA*, WA*
(Note: * signifies a more complex or optional components to the state competency requirements).
Most of the rest of the states not mentioned here require a certain number of CEUs, with the average being 20 CEUS/2 year period. You can find more information about your state nursing board’s requirements by visiting your specific state nursing website.