Continuing Education Competency

On this page you will learn about

  • CE competency requirements
  • The CE earning period for licensure renewal
  • Content specific course requirements
  • Acceptable documentation
  • Record keeping requirements and
  • Approved/accepted providers

Continuing education (CE) competency is required as evidence of the nurse's efforts to maintain and update nursing knowledge and skills needed to make competent judgements and decisions in nursing practice, nursing administration, nursing education, and/or nursing research. See KRS 314

​​RNs and LPNs must complete at least fourteen (14) contact hours of nursing continuing education through an approved or accepted provider annually between November 1 – October 31.

Pursuant to Kentucky Administrative Regulation 201 KAR 20:215, RNs and LPNs CE/competency may be completed using one of the following options​ (options CANNOT be combined to equal fourteen (14) contact hours)

  1. Proof of earning fourteen (14) approved contact hours; OR
  2. Proof of earning seven (7) approved contact hours, PLUS a nursing employment evaluation that is satisfactory for continued employment and a completed the KBN Nursing Employment Evaluation Form. The evaluation and the KBN Nursing Employment Evaluation Form must be signed by the nurse's supervisor and include the employer's name, address, and phone number. The evaluation must cover at least six (6) months of the earning period (November 1 - October 31). The KBN Nursing Employment Evaluation Form is available in the document library ; OR
  3. Current national certification or recertification related to the nurse’s practice role in effect during the entire period, or initially earned or renewed during the period (does not include clinical certifications such as ACLS, PALS, NRP, etc...); OR
  4. Successful completion of a postlicensure academic course at a college, university, or postsecondary vocational institution. Must be relevant to nursing practice (e.g. nursing course designated by a nursing course number and beyond the prelicensure curriculum) OR an academic course applicable to the nurse's role and beyond the prelicensure curriculum. The course must have been completed during the earning period with an awarded grade of "C" or better, or a grade of "pass" on a pass-fail grading system. Calculation of contact hours: One (1) semester or trimester hour of academic credit = 15 contact hours; One (1) quarter hour of academic credit = 12 contact hours. May request course review for approval of applicable nursing content pursuant to 201 KAR 20:215 Section 7; OR
  5. Participation as a preceptor for at least one nursing student or new employee. Must be for at least 120 hours, have a one-to-one relationship with student or employee, may precept more than one student during the 120 hours. Preceptorship shall be evidenced by written documentation from the educational institution or preceptor’s supervisor; OR
  6. Publication of an article in a peer-reviewed, health-related journal; OR
  7. A nursing continuing education presentation that is designed and developed by the presenter, presented to nurses or other health professionals, is evidenced by a program brochure, course syllabi, or a letter from the offering provider identifying the licensee as the presenter of the offering; and offered by a provider approved pursuant to 201 KAR 20:220. The number of contact hours earned shall be twice the number of contact hours offered to presentation attendees; OR
  8. Completion of a nursing research project as principal investigator, coinvestigator, or project director. Must be qualitative or quantitative in nature; utilize research methodology, and increases knowledge resulting in improved outcomes or changes in behavior. Submission must include a project abstract and a summary of the findings

KBN approved ​Continuing Education Providers List

On the following page, you will find information on content specific CE requirements.


An APRN's board certification satisfies the fourteen (14) contact hour requirement needed for RN licensure renewal (national certification), as long as the APRN certification was initially attained during the licensure period, has been in effect during the entire licensure period, or has been renewed during the licensure period. If these requirements are met, APRNs do not need to earn 14 contact hours of CE to renew their RN licenses.

  • Pharmacology CE: Five (5) contact hours of approved pharmacology CE must be earned by all APRNs each licensure period. CE Certificates should reflect specific pharmacology contact hours awarded. To qualify as pharmacology, content shall include drug-specific information, safe prescribing practices, safe medication administration, prescribing methodologies, new regulations, or similar topics.
  • APRNs with a CAPA-CS: Pursuant to 201 KAR 20:215(5)(b), of the five (5) approved pharmacology contact hours required for APRN licensure renewal, one and one-half (1.5) of these approved contact hours must be on the use of KASPER, pain management, or addiction disorders each licensure period. These hours may count as part of the required five (5) pharmacology contact hours.
  • ​APRNs with a DEA-X Registration: Pursuant to 201 KAR 20:065, an APRN who has obtained a DEA-X registration shall complete a total of four (4) contact hours annually in addiction disorders, which shall include 1.5 hours in addiction disorder pharmacology CE. The same CE certificates may be applied to all three of the requirements listed above.

In addition to the standard methods of CE approval, APRNs are allowed to use continuing medical education (CME) credits for pharmacology (provided the credits are pharmacology-related), if the provider offering the course is recognized by their national certifying organization (eg. AANP, ANCC, etc.)

Objectives for the contact hours related to pharmacology shall be identified. Casual mention of medications or medical treatments shall not qualify.

KBN approved Continuing Education Providers List

On the following page, you will find information on content specific CE requirements.​​

​In addition to the nurse’s annual continuing education re​quirements, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) credentialed nurses are required to earn five (5) contact hours of approved sexual assault CE each licensure period (November 1st – October 31st) required by 201 KAR 20:411, Section 8. Forensic medicine or domestic violence CE will meet this requirement.

These hours may count as part of the required fourteen (14) contact hours of continuing education needed for renewal of the RN license.

On the following page, you will find a list of KBN approved providers who offer SANE CE courses

On the following page, you will find a list of KBN approved providers who offer SANE CE courses and Online Resources for SANE CE Courses.

The CE/Competency earning period is the same as the licensure/renewal period, November 1 through October 31 of each year.


Any pre-licensure general education courses, or activities that are designed to provide information related to the work setting: on-the-job training, orientation, BLS/CPR [basic cardiopulmonary life support], or equipment demonstrations are not accepted for continuing education.

The KBN accepts continuing education from KBN approved CE providers.

The KBN also accepts nursing continuing education courses from providers approved by other state boards of nursing or by one of these national nursing organizations listed in 201 KAR 20:220.​​


If you have completed a continuing education course through a provider who is not approved or accepted by KBN, you may submit an application for individual review found in the document library

Complete the form and submit it to the Board along with all required documents, and a payment no later than one month after the earning period.

Document Library

All KBN documents and forms can now be found in our Document Library.

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