Montana is one of 37 states that require nursing professionals to complete continuing education contact hours to renew their licensure. The 13 states that do not mandate CEUs are Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin.
There is an “even years” and “odd years” methodology for nursing licensure renewals in Montana. Half of all nursing licenses expire in even-numbered years and the other half expires during odd-numbered years. If you are an “odd” licensee, your CEUs must be completed and your license must be renewed by Dec. 31 of even-numbered years. Using this system, nurses must renew their license every two years.
CEU Requirements for Nurses in Montana
RNs, LPNs, and APRNs must earn 24 contact hours of continuing education during each two-year licensing period. Licensing periods begin January 1 and end Dec. 31 of the following year. Moreover, nurses have the option of taking their credits all at once or spacing them out over the two-year renewal period. Courses take place in-person, online, and webinars as valid options for CEUs.
Incredible Health offers free access to a library of ANCC accredited, premium online courses and valid for all 50 states. Once completed, you will receive a certificate of completion for the course. APRNs only need to submit evidence of completing the pharmacotherapeutic CEU requirement on request from the state nursing board.
Required Nursing CEU Courses in Montana
In addition to any CEUs nurses choose, the Montana Board of Nursing also requires nurses to obtain contact hours on the following topics:
- Role of the Board – 1.5 contact hours
- Delegation – 1.5 contact hour
- Filing of Complaints to the Board – 2.5 contact hours
- Nurse Licensure Compact – 1.5 contact hours
- Licensing Process – 2.0 contact hours
- Substance Abuse Disorder – 2.0 contact hours
- Scope of Practice for LPNs and RNs – 2.0 contact hours
- Ethics – 2.0 contact hours
APRNs who hold prescriptive authority must dedicate 12 of their 24 contact hours each licensure cycle to pharmacotherapeutics.
The state board of nursing requires ANCC or board-approved courses and further enhance knowledge through learning experiences. CEUs should focus on the behavioral, physical, and social sciences and include advanced techniques in nursing care.
Proof of completion of contact hours is not required when renewing a license. However, nurses must 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. If you are selected for an audit, you must provide evidence of completed CEUs to auditors. Nursing professionals who are unable to provide documentation of compliance can have their licenses to practice suspended.
Unacceptable CEU Courses in Montana
Some courses are not eligible for meeting nursing CEU requirements in Montana. They include English Literature, History and Economics courses. As a rule general education courses will not count toward licensure renewal.
Other actions that do not count toward CEUs in Montana include:
- Reading journal articles not awarded contact hours from an accrediting organization.
- Participating in or being a preceptor in clinical research, community or volunteer services.
- Membership in a professional organization.
How is COVID-19 Affecting Nursing CEU Requirements?
Some states have modified their CEU requirements to accommodate the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic. On Oct. 14, 2020, the Montana Board of Nursing waived all continuing education requirements for all nursing licenses for both even year and odd year renewals. The action is effective through 2021.
In making the decision, the Board noted the difficulty in obtaining CEUs due to the global pandemic. In addition to there being no CEUs required, the Board announced it also is suspending CEU audits.
Online CEUs always is an option for meeting contact hours. Incredible Health provides free unlimited access to premium courses. All courses are ANCC accredited for all 50 states. Sign up for a free account to gain access to this valuable database and start earning CEUs from the comfort of your home at your convenience.
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