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New Jersey Board of Nursing

Frequently Asked Questions - Continuing Education (CE)


NOTE: One (1) contact hour equals  sixty (60) minutes of instruction.


  1. How many continuing education contact hours must I complete in order to renew my nursing license?

    Each licensee must complete a minimum of 30 contact hours of continuing education contact hours during the two-year period preceding renewal. For example, in order to renew a license in May 2019, a licensee must have completed 30 contact hours of continuing education contact hours between June 1, 2017 and May 31, 2019.


  2. I'm retired. Am I required to complete continuing education?

    Yes. You must complete a minimum of 30 contact hours of continuing education contact hours during the two-year period preceding renewal. For example, in order to renew a license in May 2019, a licensee must have completed 30 contact hours of continuing education contact hours between June 1, 2017 and May 31, 2019. If you will not be returning to nursing practice, but want to maintain an active nursing license, you may place your license in inactive status. While your license is inactive, you will not have to complete continuing education contact hours. However, you will have to go through the reactivation process to return to active license status.


  3. I do not practice nursing in New Jersey. Am I required to complete continuing education?

    Yes. You must complete all of the required continuing education contact hours if you want to maintain an active nursing license in New Jersey. If you will not be returning to nursing practice, but want to maintain an active nursing license, you may place your license in inactive status. While your license is inactive, you will not have to complete continuing education contact hours. However, you will have to go through the reactivation process to return to active license status.


  4. What types of continuing education courses are approved by the Board?

    Continuing education courses related to nursing must be approved by a credentialing agency accredited by the American Nurses Crediting Servises (ANCC). For the types of courses the Board will accept, please see N.J.A.C. 13:37-5.3(d)1-15, which is available on the Board's website under the link Laws and Regulations.


  5. Must I attend an in-person continuing education class or may I complete my contact hours through an online class?

    Continuing education contact hours may be obtained through successful completion of online courses. Please remember to download and retain your certificates of completion.


  6. I complete continuing education courses through my employer. Do those courses satisfy the Board's continuing education requirement?

    The Board will accept courses completed through your employer provided that the courses carry a credit-hour designation, i.e., one contact hour for each 60 minutes of instruction, and the employer provides you with a certificate of successful completion. The employer must be approved by the ANCC.


  7. How long do I have to keep my continuing education certificates?

    The Board recommends that you retain continuing education certificates for at least five years.


  8. Will the Board ever ask for copies of my continuing education certificates?

    The Board may request copies of your continuing education certificates for various reasons, such as a random continuing education audit or during a disciplinary investigation.


  9. What are the consequences of failing to satisfy my continuing education requirement?

    The Board may impose sanctions by public order pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:1-21 and 45:1-22.


  10. May I carry over any continuing education contact hours if I complete more contact hours than required during the renewal period?

    A licensee may carry over up to 15 additional continuing education contact hours into the next renewal period.


  11. Opioid continuing education requirement

    As a condition of biennial license renewal, all registered professional nurses and all licensed practical nurses must complete one (1) contact hour of continuing education concerning prescription opioid drugs, including alternatives to opioids for managing and treating pain, and the risks and signs of opioid abuse, addiction, and diversion.


Last Modified: 1/10/2020 10:38 AM