The Civil War altered the professional role of nursing. As outbreaks of injuries, wounds, and deaths occurred during the war, an impressive 20,000 men and women stepped up to serve as nurses in the United States. And it wasn’t long after the war was over that nurse training and licensing programs gained popularity.
Nursing school programs and continuing education unit (CEU) courses have remarkably kept the pace in teaching today’s nurses how to leverage the latest tech and medical advancements to provide optimal patient care.
In Washington, nurses must meet specific CEU requirements to keep their licensure active. The exact conditions required depend on several factors. Keep reading to learn more about Washington’s nurse CEU requirements and how to keep a license active.
Nurse CEU Requirements in Washington
Nurses are a pillar to the health and well-being of society. Without them, millions of people in Washington would go without vital health care services every year. And with the COVID-19 global pandemic putting more pressure on the entire healthcare sector, there’s never been a better time to earn or renew a nursing license.
RNs and LPNs in Washington must earn 45 CEUs every three years to keep a nursing license active. They must also show proof of working at least 531 contact hours during the same 3-year period.
Furthermore, RNs and LPNs must complete the one-time requirement of seven contact hours in HIV/AIDS when receiving initial licensure and six hours of training in suicide prevention.
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner CEU Requirements
For those working as advanced registered nurse practitioners (APRNs), a 30-hour CEU requirement must be met every two years. 15 more CEUs have to be earned by any APRNs with authority to prescribe medications (these 15 hours must be in pharmacotherapeutics).
If the APRN is eligible to prescribe opioids, a 4-hour CEU requirement is mandated, with the hours being directly related to the best practices in prescribing opioids. Like RNs and LPNs, APRNs must complete six hours of suicide prevention on a one-time basis; however, for certified registered nurse anesthetists, this requirement doesn’t have to be met.
[ MORE: Average nurse salary in Washington ]
CEU Requirements for APRN Pain Management Specialists
All APRN pain management specialists who act in a consultant’s role for the prescribing of medications for chronic opioid therapy have another CEU requirement they must meet to keep a license active: 18 CEUs in pain management.
What Is the Birthday Renewal Rule for Nurses in Washington?
To keep your nursing license active in the state of Washington, you must renew it by your birthday each year. This rule, though, only applies to RNs. APRNs must renew their license by their birthday but only once every two years.
Does Washington Allow Nurses to Reactivate Expired Licenses?
Yes, nurses in Washington can reactivate an expired license to pay all renewal and reactivation fees and submit the reactivation application. The exact fee amount depends on the type of nursing license getting reactivated.
Where to Find Washington Nurse CEU Courses?
CEU courses for nurses in Washington will only count toward CEU requirements when earned through an approved entity. It’s typically best to check with the state’s nursing board to verify whether a specific CEU course is approved. Some CEUs for nurses in Washington can get completed for free, making it much less stressful to tackle the entire renewal process.
Coworkers are another helpful resource to lean on when looking for nurse CEU courses. All other nurses have to meet CEU requirements, so it makes sense that they will already know of various places to find nurse CEUs.
If you still need more help finding nurse CEUs that you can complete meeting licensure renewal requirements, you can always contact a local nursing school’s continuing education department. A licensed education counselor will have a long list of resources you can use to find CEUs that meet your exact needs.
Get started now on keeping up with nurse CEU requirements by checking out Incredible Health’s various offerings. Want to see if you can make more money working as a nurse in another state? If so, check out our nurse salary estimator.
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