Continuing Competence

Continuing Competence | APRN

Policy Statement/Procedure:

Nurse Practitioner Rule 21 NCAC 36.0807  states to maintain Nurse Practitioner approval to practice, the NP shall maintain national certification or earn 50 contact hours of continuing education every two years. Your renewal will always be due on your birth month after the 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. The remaining 30 hours must be CEs at the advanced practice level Included as a part of the total 50 contact hours (for those who have not maintained national certification) 1 contact hour of CE is required 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.

**Note: By a national accredited provider of nursing continuing professional development, or nurse practice-relevant courses in an institution of higher learning. A nurse practitioner who possesses a current national certification by a national credentialing body shall be deemed in compliance with the requirement of Paragraph (a) of this Rule. 

The conversion for credit to contact hours are:

  • 1 semester credit = 15 contact hours
  • 1 quarter credit = 7.5 contact hours

For the activities below to count toward the CE requirement, they must be completed every two consecutive years.

ActivityExampleAcceptable Evidence

Five (5) hours - Clinical Presentations

Note: Licensees may not earn contact hours for their own presentations in conferences or in the performance of their normal employment obligations.

Designing, developing and conducting an educational presentation or presentations for health professionals totaling a minimum of 5 contact hoursDated 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 specialtyCompletion of an IRB-approved research project for which you were the primary investigatorIRB 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 Nurse Practitioner 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 Nurse Practitioner continuing education credit if one has obtained a certificate with the date completed and number of contact hours provided.

Last Changed: 10-April-2024