In Minnesota, continuing education is required for the nurses renewing their licenses. Licensees must satisfy the CE requirements within a 24-month period directly before the renewal application deadline.
Registered nurses (RN) in Minnesota must participate in 24 contact hours of CE during this period, while licensed practical nurses (LPN) must participate in only 12 contact hours. Advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) are merely required to maintain national certification.
What counts for Minnesota nursing CE requirements
According to the Minnesota Board of Nursing, CE requirements may be achieved in one of three ways.
1. Acquire a current nursing specialty certificate
- The certificate should be provided by a national professional nursing organization such as the National League for Nursing (NLN), the American Nurses Association (ANA), or another recognized medical organization.
- Certification may be for advanced practice registered nursing or for generalist professional nursing practice.
- The certification may be for initial certification or for recertification. The certificate must be current at the time the CE report is presented.
- Certification to satisfy re-registration requirements for any previously submitted contact hours will not be accepted.
- The certifying organization must meet certain criteria, including periodic CE or other competency certification qualifications.
2. Take part in courses offered by a CE provider
To count toward continuing education requirements, these courses must:
- Enhance a person’s ability to practice nursing.
- Have formulated objectives that define what a student can expect to learn.
- Be finished during one’s CE participation period.
- The teacher must be qualified by education or experience to teach the material.
- Last a minimum of 0.25 contact hours or 15 minutes.
- Be certified by a health licensing board or association.
3. Take part in specific professional activities
These activities may include
- Publication of an article in a peer-reviewed journal or book on nursing or healthcare-related issues.
- Presenting an expert exposition associated with nursing or healthcare in general.
- Serving or have served as a member of a national panel that addresses nursing or healthcare-related issues.
- Serving or have served as the chief investigator or co-investigator for a nursing or healthcare-related research study.
It is the responsibility of the licensee to determine whether their nursing certificate, CE course, or professional activities satisfy the Board’s CE requirements.
Modified requirements during COVID-19
Due to the burden placed on the healthcare industry by the COVID-19 pandemic, the governor of Minnesota enacted Emergency Executive Order 20-12. The order waives and modifies certain licensing requirements for various healthcare workers.
As a result, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Health Regulation Division (HRD) temporarily altered and stayed specific requirements for licensing and registration of anyone regulated by the Health Occupations Program (HOP).
This means that current licensees who are in good standing with the HOP to practice during the pandemic for public safety. However, it should be noted that Order 20-12 does not seem to modify CE requirements. Licensure and re-registration can be done online.