The number of CEUs nurses in Louisiana need each year depends on which nursing license they hold. CEUs differ for RNs and APRNs in Louisiana but both have 2-year licensure periods. LPNs and LVNs are not required to fulfill CEUs annually.
CEU requirements for Registered Nurses in Louisiana
New guidelines for RNs renewing licensure were approved by the Louisiana Nursing Board in September 2020 and affect RNs renewing licensure starting with the 2023 cycle.
Under the new rules, RNs must now complete one of the following two options during the 2-year licensure period to meet CEU requirements:
- Complete a minimum of 30 board approved CEU contact hours
- Complete a minimum of 900 practice hours (must be verified by employer)
RNs who are in the renewal periods commencing in 2021 and 2022 are considered in compliance by meeting the previous standards.
Louisiana RNs are exempted from obtaining CEUs during the applicable licensure period if they meet one of the following criteria:
- They are newly licensed RNs
- They hold a currently active nursing specialty certification recognized by the state board
- They meet an exception under emergency rule §3335.C.2
Academic credits earned as part of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN) during the renewal period can be used to meet CEU requirements. Under state board provisions, one academic semester equals 15 contact hours. For example, a nurse who earns 3 credit hours during a semester is eligible for meeting 45 contact hours.
It is important to note that a contact hour is not equal to a CEU. One contact hour translates to 60 minutes of participation in an educational activity meeting the state board of nursing CEU criteria. One CEU equals 10 contact hours. Course certificates of completion must include this information.
Free online nursing CEUs
Available to Incredible Health nurses.
CEU requirements for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses in Louisiana
APRNs in Louisiana are required to meet all the same CEU mandates as regular RNs. Additionally, they must obtain six contact hours of CEU in pharmacotherapeutics annually if they have prescriptive authority. Pharmacotherapeutic CEUs must be provided by a board-approved national certifying organization such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
Certificates of completion are issued for each course. APRNs are only required to submit evidence of completing the pharmacotherapeutic CEU requirement on request from the state nursing board.
Required CEU courses in Louisiana
Except for the pharmacotherapeutics requirement for APRNs, there are no mandates for specific nursing CEUs in Louisiana. The state board of nursing only requires that courses be ANCC or board approved and further enhance knowledge through learning experiences. CEUs should focus on the behavioral, physical, and social sciences and include advanced techniques in nursing care.
RNs and APRNs should keep accurate records of all CEUs completed for five years. Each year, the state board of nursing conducts a random audit of all active licenses to ensure compliance. Nursing professionals who are unable to provide documentation of compliance can have their licenses to practice suspended.
Unacceptable CEU Courses in LouisianaSome courses are not eligible for meeting nursing CEU requirements in Louisiana. They include but are not limited to, English Literature, History, and Economics courses. As a rule, if it is a general education course, it is not considered part of continuing education and will not count toward licensure renewal.
How is COVID-19 affecting nursing CEU requirements?
Some states modified their CEU requirements in the spring of 2020 to accommodate the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic. The Louisiana Board of Nursing suspended all General CEU requirements for the remainder of 2020. The deferment does not apply to the 3-hour requirement CEU on controlled dangerous substances (CDS) that applies to first-time license renewal for authorized prescribers. Options were provided to ensure CDS authorized prescribers met the requirements for 2020.
No information is available on whether CEU suspensions will continue into 2021 in Louisiana.