North Carolina Board of Nursing

Nursing Practice

Nurse Practitioner

Continuing Education Requirements

Policy Statement/Procedure:

NP Rule 21 NCAC 36.0807 states to maintain nurse practitioner approval to practice, the nurse practitioner shall earn 50 contact hours of continuing education each year beginning with the first *renewal cycle after initial approval to practice has been granted. At least 20 hours of the required 50 hours must be those hours for which approval has been granted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or Accreditation Council on Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) or other national credentialing bodies or **practice relevant courses in an institution of higher learning. Nurse practitioners may choose to obtain formal continuing education credits from the above bodies for the full 50 hours, or they may choose to complete the following activities for all or any part of the 30 hours that do not have to meet the formal criteria.

Included as a part of the annual, total 50 contact hours of CE is the requirement for one contact hour of CE required only for those NPs who prescribe controlled substances. This CE shall address controlled substance prescribing practices, signs of the abuse or misuse of controlled substances, and controlled substance prescribing for chronic pain management.

*NP Renewal Cycle (birth month to birth month) - Example:

  • Birth month: June
  • NP Renewal Cycle for 2017-2018 for licensee with the birth month of June: May 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018

**Note: Practice relevant courses in an institution of higher learning

  • Only those courses completed during your current NP renewal cycle** (birth month to birth month) can be counted.
  • The conversion for credit to contact hours are:
    • One semester credit = 15 contact hours
    • One quarter credit = 7.5 contact hours

For the activities below to count toward the current NP renewal cycle, they must be completed within the current NP renewal cycle (birth month to birth month). Any activity completed outside of the current NP renewal cycle, cannot be applied to the current renewal cycle.

ActivityExampleAcceptable Evidence
Five (5) hours - Clinical Presentations Designing, developing and conducting an educational presentation or presentations for health professionals totaling a minimum of 5 contact hours Dated copy of presentation(s)
Up to 30 Preceptor hours
  • Precepting any Interprofessional healthcare student
Original letter from the program director stating the following:
  • Timeframe precepted said student
  • Number of hours precepted student
Five (5) hours - author on a journal article or book chapter published during renewal year
  • Professional journal article (both refereed and non-refereed publications are acceptable)
  • Published book chapter
  • Reference for published work
  • Copy of title page
Five (15) hours - primary or secondary author of a book published during renewal year
  • Author or Editor of published book
  • Reference for published work
  • Copy of title page
Ten (10) hours - Completion of an Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved research project related to your certification specialty Completion of an IRB-approved research project for which you were the primary investigator IRB close-out letter
Five (5) hours - Professional volunteer service Local, state, national or international health care related organization in which your NP or certification specialty expertise is required
  1. employer, community or profession-specific board of director;
  2. committees;
  3. task forces;
  4. editorial boards;
  5. review boards
Signed/dated attestation from manager or committee chair
  • Initial or recertification in Basic Life Support (BLS) does not count toward NP continuing education credit.
  • Only initial certification in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) and instructor certification will count toward NP continuing education credit if one has obtained a certificate with the date completed and number of contact hours provided.