All licensed nurses in Massachusetts nurses are required to obtain 15 contact hours (CH) of CE to renew their licenses. Renewal is on your birthday in the even numbered year for RNs, and odd numbered year for LPNs. If this is your first renewal, there is no CE requirement. Only CHs earned within the two years immediately preceding licensure renewal satisfy the requirement.
A CH is equal to 50 minutes of attendance and participation in a program that meets the Board's requirements for CE programs. Acceptable types of CE programs include lectures, workshops, academic courses, planned supervised clinical experiences, home study courses and Web based programs.
By example, the following assist in calculating CH:
- Lecture - One CH for each 50 minutes of didactic instruction
- Planned, supervised clinical - One CH for each 100 minutes of clinical instruction
- One (1) semester college credit - Fifteen (15) CH
- One continuing education unit (CEU) - Ten (10) CH
A CE program does not require the approval of the Board or of a professional nursing organization in order for the nurse to meet the Board's regulations for license renewal. However, prior to offering or advertising that a program offers CH, it is the responsibility of the provider to determine that the program is consistent with the Board's regulatory requirements at 244 CMR 5.00 . CE program approval is a voluntary Peer Review Process and is usually conducted by a professional nursing association, or, as is the case in some states, through that state's board of nursing.
In order for licensed nurses to maintain their national certification status, most certifying organizations require that a portion of their CE program requirements receive approval through a specific peer review process.
As a reminder, all Advance Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) must maintain current certification through a Board approved national certifying organization in order to maintain current Board authorization to practice. The CE requirements of your certifying organization are separate from those required by the Board for license renewal.
It is the responsibility of each licensed nurse to select CE programs based upon the Board's regulatory requirements and to determine whether or not the learning experience meets the regulatory requirement of a planned experience that augments the knowledge, skills and attitudes for the enhancement of their individual nursing practice.
Through your signature on your nursing license renewal form, you attest under penalties of perjury to compliance with state tax and child support laws, mandatory reporting laws, and regulations pertaining to your practice, including CE requirements.
This information is provided by the Division of Health Professions Licensure within the Department of Public Health.