LPN Continuing Education Units (CEUs) – Requirements and License Renewal

What is CEUs?

CEU is a term used for Continuing Education Units. One unit is equivalent to 10 hours of participation in an accredited program. Practical Nurses are required to practice a specified number of hours to continue working in the professional space. The annual number of CEUs differ for different types of nurses. CEUs can be in the form of a webinar, video, class, seminar, or any other educational venue. CEUs should be reviewed by the State Nursing Board and are taught by the professionals.

After the LPN completes the CEU course, s/he is required to fill a review form, mentioning all the things that s/he liked and where the improvement can be made. The CEU educator is supposed to submit these review forms to keep the credentialing privileges of the CEU. Each state has its requirements for CEUs. For example, some states may require you to complete CEUs in infectious disease topics or pain management, whereas other states may be satisfied with CEUs in any area without any particular specifications. Some states accept articles, authoring books, projects, or nursing employment hours, as a substitute to CEUs.

Who is Required to Complete CEUs?

For all the professions (like doctors, lawyers, engineers, nurses, financial advisers, CPAs, real estate agents, etc.) which require the aspirants to acquire a license and renew it from time to time, it is a necessary to practice the requisite number of CEUs. The number of CEUs varies according to the profession and the state. However, some of the states do not mandate it to complete the CEUs. In the field of nursing, LPNs, RNs, and Nurse Practitioners are expected to go for continuing education units (if their state needs so).

Who Can Award CEUs?

CEUs can be given by any college, university, or organization that fulfills the standards set by the IACET (International Association for Continuing Education & Training).

The most convenient option for practical nurses to attain CEUs is through online. Some websites offer free CEUs, while others charge for it. There are numerous websites where the candidates can subscribe by paying the necessary amount (it may range between $29-$99) and can attain an unlimited number of CEUs after signing up. The Nursing State Board generally accepts the CEU credits for Basic Life Support (BLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). The certification, as well as recertification for these courses, is acceptable by the state board.

If the LPN is working in a hospital, s/he can easily earn the CEUs. Nurse educators often provide the opportunity to complete CEUs at the hospital. The LPNs may be paid hourly.

At the completion of the CEU course, the candidates are issued a Certificate of Completion. The candidates can capture the image of the certificate and email it to themselves, that would be useful in the case; you lose the original one.

LPN CEUs Requirements By State

Every state has different requirements of CEUs which has been enlisted below.

Alabama: 24 CEUs in every two years
Alaska: 30 CEUs or 30 hours of professional nurse activities or 320 hours of nursing employment in every 2 hours.
Arizona: Not required
Arkansas: Certification or recertification by a national certification board OR 15 CEUs OR completion of an academic nursing course in every two years.
Colorado: Not required
California: 30 CEUs in every 2 years
Delaware: 24 CEUs in every two years
Connecticut: Not required
Florida: 24 CEUs in every two years
District of Columbia: 18 CEUs in every two years
Georgia: 20 CEUs each year
Idaho: Not required
Hawaii: Not required
Indiana: Not required
Illinois: 20 CEUs in every two years
Iowa: 24 CEUs or 36 CEUs, depending upon the time the LPN has been licensed
Kansas: 30 CEUs in every two years
Louisiana: 5-15 CEUs depending upon the employment status
Kentucky: 14 CEUs each year
Maryland: Not required
Maine: Not required
Michigan: 25 CEUs in every two years
Massachusetts: 15 CEUs in every two years
Missouri: Not required
Minnesota: 12 CEUs in every two years
Mississippi: Not required
Montana: 24 CEUs by the end of year annually (31st Dec)
Nebraska: 20 CEUs in every 2 years
Nevada: 30 CEUs in every 2 years
New Hampshire: 30 CEUs in every 2 years
New Jersey: 30 CEUs in every two years
New Mexico: 30 CEUs in every two years
North Carolina: Any of these options: 30 CEUs, national certification or recertification, completion of a Board-approved refresher course, two semesters of academic nursing education.
Alternatively, 15 CEUs and completion of the nursing project or authoring a nursing-related piece of writing or 640 employment hours or developing a nursing CEU course.
North Dakota: 0-12 CEUs each year, depending on the method of licensure
Ohio: 24 CEUs in every two years
Oklahoma: 24 CEUs in every two years
Oregon: A one-time 7 CEU pain management course without any need of additional CEUs.
Pennsylvania: Not required
Rhode Island: 10 CEUs in every two years
South Carolina: 30 CEUs or national certification or recertification or verification of employment hours in every two years or completion of an academic nursing program.
South Dakota: Not required
Tennessee: Not required, but the LPN must be employed as a nurse within the last 5 years
Texas: 20 CEUs in every two years
Utah: Either of the following:
• 200 practice hours or 30 CEUs in every two years
• 400 practice hours or 15 CEUs in every two years
Vermont: Not required
Virginia: Any of the following:
• Certifications in the LPNs specialty by national organization; or
• Completion of three academic credit hours in nursing; or
• Completion of nursing research study or publication; or
• Teaching a nursing educational course; or
• Board-approved refresher course in nursing; or
• Teaching a CEU course; or
• 15 contact hours in seminars, nursing workshop, conferences or courses along with 640 hours of nursing employment; or
• 30 contact hours in seminars, conferences, workshops, or course.
Washington: 531 employment hours or 45 CEUs
West Virginia: 400 nursing employment hours or 24 CEUs
Wisconsin: Not required
Wyoming: Either of the following:
• 20 CEUs in every two years
• 1600 nursing employment hours in the past five years
• Passing the licensure exam in the last five years
• Completion of nursing certification within last five years
• Completion of nursing refresher program in last five years
• 500 nursing employment hours in last two years
Puerto Rico: 21 CEUs in every licensing period
US Virgin Islands: The candidate needs to complete any two of the following three:
• 15 CEUs
• 320 nursing employment hours
• 15 contact hours

Outcome of Not Completing the CEUs for License Renewal

Each state has different requirements for CEUs during the renewal period. For instance, in California, the renewal applications are selected randomly for audit, so each candidate must complete CEU before going for the online renewal process. The nurses are selected arbitrary, so they do not know whether they should submit the proof of CEU completion or not.

Some states require the nurses to submit copies of the CEU certification of completion at the end of each renewal period, whereas some may opt for auditing the nurses by mailing a letter asking for a proof of CEU completion. The license of an LPN can be suspended for not completing the CEUs, due to which, s/he can not continue to work.

Time Required for Completing LPN CEUs

The duration of completion of the CEUs may vary. If a course offers more credits, it will take longer to complete. The majority of the online courses are designed in such a way that after going through the study material if the nurse passes the quiz about it, s/he is awarded a Certificate of Completion.

A company releases a booklet along with three nursing articles for $29.95 and requires the nurses to complete 3 short surveys about the materials. On being successful, the candidates can earn 30 CEUs. Before participating in the survey, the nurses should read the materials thoroughly.

Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) classes and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) classes last for 2-8 hours, whereas Basic Life Support (BLS) classes last just for one 8-hour day.