As in many states, there are required CEUs for Massachusetts nurses. The Massachusetts Board of Nursing sets the amount of continuing education required and decides what activities can be used to meet those requirements.
This article will cover the amount of CEUs required for license renewal, required courses, activities that do and don’t count for contact hours, and how to find free online CEUs to meet Massachusetts’ requirements.
CE contact hours required for Massachusetts nurses
Advanced practice nurses in Massachusetts are required to earn 15 contact hours of continuing education every two years. Since APRNs are also required to be licensed as RNs in MA, these hours can be used to satisfy requirements for both licenses.
APRNs who prescribe must include education in pain management, substance abuse, and overdose prevention as part of their contact hours. However, there aren’t any specific courses or number of hours required.
Registered nurses in Massachusetts must complete 15 hours of continuing education every two-year renewal cycle. Other than the two required one-time courses discussed below, there aren’t any required topics to study.
Licensed practical nurses in Massachusetts are required to have 15 hours of continuing education units for every two-year license renewal. Similar to RNs, there aren’t any specific rules as to what courses you need to take other than the two one-time courses discussed below.
Required CE courses for Massachusetts nurses
There are two one-time courses that all nurses licensed in Massachusetts are required to pass. These can be included as part of the required 15 CEUs for license renewal.
Domestic and Sexual Violence Training
Starting in 2018, all Massachusetts nurses are required to complete a course on recognizing and treating patients who may be experiencing or have experienced domestic and sexual violence. This one-time course can either be completed in-person or through the state’s approved online course.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s Training
All MA nurses must complete a required course of training “in the diagnosis, treatment, and care of patients with cognitive impairments, including, but not limited to, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia” before November 7, 2022. There is no specific course or number of hours required. Any CE course, staff development training, or conference on the topic will meet the requirement.
Nursing License renewal in Massachusetts
All nurses renew their Massachusetts licenses on a two-year cycle. LPNs renew in the odd years and RNs/APRNs renew in the even years. RN and APRN licenses are renewed at the same time.
All Massachusetts nursing licenses expire on your birthday in the corresponding year. You can renew your nursing licenses up to 90 days before your birthday in the year it expires.
Massachusetts no longer provides paper licenses or renewal notices. If you want to receive reminders about your renewal and any changes in CEU requirements, be sure to keep a valid email address on file with the board.
Activities that count for required CEUs
The Massachusetts Board of Nursing does not have a specific list of courses that will fulfill the required CEUs. They do list some guidelines, however:
- Initial certification for ACLS and PALS (but not renewals)
- Programs approved by a professional review process (such as the ANCC)
- Programs approved by other states’ boards’ of nursing
- Academic or college courses that are relevant to nursing or leading to an academic nursing degree
- Programs that meet the Board’s Continuing Education Checklist
Activities that do not count for CEUs
The MA Board of Nursing has stated that the following activities are not eligible for continuing education credit:
- CPR courses
- Recertification for ACLS and PALS (but initial certification can be counted)
- In-service training from your employer
How does the board know your CEUs are complete?
You must attest to having completed the required CEUs for Massachusetts nurses to renew your nursing license. MA does not require you to provide proof of completion at the time of renewal but you must keep your CE records for at least 4 years and submit them if you are selected for audit.
Get your required CEUs online for free
It can be tough to find continuing education courses that fit your schedule and budget. Incredible Health offers 100% free CEUS online. They are accredited by the ANCC in Massachusetts (and the other 49 states, Washington D.C., and Guam). Plus you can print your certificate immediately after completing the course so you meet documentation requirements.