Explanation of Continuing Education Requirements

The Public Health Code establishes the provision for boards to require continuing education as part of the renewal process. The intent of the continuing education requirement is to advance the level of knowledge of the profession's licensees. The boards recommend the number of continuing education hours that are necessary to confirm continued competency and specify the types of education that are acceptable. The hours and approved types of education are specified in the rules for each profession.

Approximately 60 days before a license expires, the Bureau of Professional Licensing (BPL), Licensing Division sends renewal information to the licensee. Renewing the license is confirmation that the continuing education requirement has been completed. Credits from one license period cannot be saved for the next cycle. Dates of completion are carefully reviewed as well as the hours awarded. It is in your best interest to carefully monitor completion of the correct continuing education. If you have not completed your continuing education, remember that you have a 60-day grace period after the expiration date in which to complete the continuing education. Do not submit your renewal until the continuing education is completed.

Approximately 90 days after the expiration date, the BPL's Licensing Division generates a list of individuals who renewed their licenses. A sample of these individuals is randomly selected from this list. The sampled licensees are asked to verify the continuing education that they completed during their last licensure period. All of the courses should be approved programs and completed within the license period. For example, if a 2-year license period expires on March 15, 2003, all the continuing education requirements must be completed between March 16, 2001 and March 15, 2003. All continuing education completion certificates or proof of attendance records must be kept after renewal date.

If you are selected in the sample, you will receive a letter requesting that you submit documentation of the continuing education you completed in the licensure period. You will have 30 days to send to BPL the materials requested. If you fail to respond to our first request, you will receive within 10 days a second letter requesting proof of completion of your continuing education. If you still fail to respond, your file is sent to the Regulatory and Compliance Division. At this point, you are considered in violation of the Public Health Code.

If you do not submit the required proof of completion of your continuing education at this stage, a complaint will be filed against your license. The penalty for most boards is a reprimand, a monetary fine and probation. Probation typically includes completion of the missing continuing education in addition to the continuing education for the current licensure period. This is a permanent sanction on your licensure record. Any requests for the status of your license will include a record that you have been disciplined for failing to complete the continuing education requirement.

The laws regarding continuing education requirements do not distinguish between active and inactive licensees. As long as you retain your license, you are subject to the continuing education requirements for your profession. Consult the rules for each profession to determine the number of hours required and the acceptable continuing education activities. Each board is different and you should be careful not to assume that what one profession accepts is approved for all professions.

Below is a listing, by board, of the continuing education credits required. You can view the CE brochure for each profession by clicking on the profession name.


Continuing Education Credits Required 

Time Period 


20 Hours 

2 Years 


30 hours with 1 hour on sexual boundaries; 1 hour on ethics; 1 hour on pain and symptom management; 2 live, in-person hours in physical measures; and 2 live, in-person hours in performance and ordering of tests. 

2 Years 


60 hours and current CPR certification. 

3 Years 

Dental Hygienist 

36 hours (of which 12 are in dental hygiene) and current CPR certification. 

3 Years 

Dental Assistant 

36 hours (of which 12 are in dental assisting) and current CPR certification or recertification by DANB. 

3 Years 


150 hours with at least 75 hours in programs classified as Category 1, 1 hour in medical ethics, and beginning 12/6/16, 3 hours in pain and symptom management

3 Years 

Nursing - RN and LPN 

25 hours with 1 hour on pain and symptom management. 

2 Years 

Nurse Anesthetists 


2 Years 

Nurse Midwife 

20 hours in specialty field or recertification. 

2 Years 

Nurse Practitioner 

If certified before 1991, 40 hours in specialty field or recertification. If certified after 1991, maintained certification or recertified. 

2 Years 

Nursing Home Administrators 

36 Hours

2 Years 


40 Hours (If TPA or DPA certified, at least 20 hours must be in pharmacological management of ocular conditions.)

2 Years 

Osteopathic Medicine 

150 hours with at least 60 hours in osteopathic programs classified as Category 1 or 3.

3 years 

Pharmacy  (If licensed more than 1 year but less than 2 years.)  15 hours with 1 hour on pain and symptom management. 1-2 Years 

Pharmacy (If licensed for a full 2-year period.) 

30 hours with 1 hour on pain and symptom management and at least 10 hours in live programs or courses. 

2 Years 

Pharmacy Technicians (If licensed more than 1 year but less than 2 years 10 hours 1-2 Years
Pharmacy Technicians (If licensed for a full 2-year period) 20 hours including 1 hour in pain and management relating to the practice of pharmacy, 1 hour in patient safety, 1 hour in pharmacy law and with at least 5 hours in live programs, courses or activities OR have completed a proficiency examination as specified by the administrative rules. 2 Years



150 hours with at least 75 hours in podiatry programs classified as Category 1 or 6.


3 Years 


Social Work 

45 hours with 1 hour on pain and symptom management and 5 hours in ethics.


3 years