What are the CEU requirements for RNs in Florida?
For Florida's registered nurses (RNs), nursing is a way of life. It's a lifestyle that comes with a commitment to compassionate and ethical care, continuous learning, plus a whole lot of sunshine and afternoon rain showers.
Since they are entrusted with the well-being of patients, staying up to date with the latest advancements and best practices is not just an option—it's an RN's responsibility. Registered nurses know—you must stay on your game.
That's why the Florida Board of Nursing puts a major focus on Continuing Education Units (CEUs). They want to make sure that RNs like you keep their skills and knowledge at their absolute best. These CEUs aren’t just a good idea, they are also a requirement of keeping your nursing license active in Florida.
Read on to get the details on keeping your competency sharp, your license up to date and your patients happy and healthy.
What are CEUs and what is their significance?
CEUs are nationally-recognized units used to measure a nurse's participation in continuing education and training courses.
10 contact hours= 1 CEU credit
In the field of nursing, one continuing education unit is equal to 10 contact hours.1 So this means, hypothetically speaking, if you spent a normal 40-hour work week engaging in CEU courses and activities, you'd earn 4 CEU credits.
CEUs can come in several forms including face-to-face instruction, virtual conferences and webinars, social awareness programs or even course packets you can complete at home.
In many states, registered nurses are required to participate in continuing education every 1-3 years. Florida nursing continuing education requirements require nurses to complete 24 CEUs within a two-year renewal period to maintain an active nursing license.2
Florida's nursing board approves providers of CEU courses in Florida, ensuring that the education you receive meets the necessary standards they've defined. You must complete most CEUs from a board-approved provider to fulfill your renewal requirements – the Human Trafficking course is the only mandatory course that does not need to be approved by the board.2
When it’s time for your license renewal, make sure you’ve completed the necessary CEUs and any needed documentation with them.
What are the CEU requirements for an RN in Florida?
You must complete 24 CEUs within a two-year period.2
That means 240 hours of continuing education (24 CEUs x 10 hours = 240 contact hours). That can sound daunting, but only some of those hours are mandatory courses. The majority of your CEU requirements are "general hours" which can be completed while you're on the clock, working your usual rounds. This CEU requirement pretty much ensures that you're simply working enough hours to remain consistently practicing.
CEU Requirements for RN in Florida: Here's how the required courses break down
The Florida board of nursing requires all sunshine state RNs use the site CE Broker to report their CE units.2 The following are all the mandatory CE courses each Florida nurse needs to complete every two years (mostly) in order to maintain RN licensure.
- 16 CEUs (160 contact hours) *This isn't a course. It’s documented nursing work. Must be approved by a state or national organization empowered to accredit nursing continuing education.
Prevention of Medical Errors
Must be board-approved
- 2 CEUs (20 contact hours)
Florida Laws and Rules
Must be board-approved
- 2 CEUs or 20 contact hours
Recognizing Impairment in the Workplace
Must be board-approved
- 2 CEUs or 20 contact hours. *This one is required every second renewal period/ every four years.
This course does not have to be a Florida Board of Nursing approved course
- 2 CEUs (20 contact hours). *This course is the only course that does not need to be approved by the nursing board.
- 2 CEUs (20 contact hours) *This is required every third renewal / every six years.
*Note: Since the domestic violence CE is a two-unit requirement, in the intervals where you need to take it, you will have 26 CEUs during the renewal period.
Must be board approved. A one-time requirement prior to the first renewal
- 1 CEUs (10 contact hours)
If you hold certification from a healthcare specialty program accredited by either the National Commission for Certifying Agencies or the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification, you don't have to worry about meeting continuing education requirements, except for Human Trafficking.3 That is still on your to-do list!
Finished with your CEUs? Here's what to do
Once you've completed all the required CE criteria, it's time to submit your records to the Florida Board of Nursing through CE Broker.
Once they receive your records, along with a completed renewal application, you'll need to pay the renewal fee. Then, voilà! You're all set for your active nursing license for another two years.2
What happens if RNs don’t complete their CEUs?
If you don’t complete the mandatory CEU hours, you'll need to take action because it will cost you your ability to work as a nurse in Florida.
This is how it goes down – During the license-renewal process, the Florida Department of Health, Medical Quality Assurance will verify your continuing education record through an electronic tracking system. (You will have the opportunity to access your course history within the tracking system at no cost.)
If your continuing education records are incomplete, your license will be classified as delinquent upon expiration. It will then expire. Nurses are prohibited from working at their healthcare facility without an active license.
Luckily, there is a way to get your license reactivated.
How do you reactivate your nursing license in Florida?
To renew a delinquent RN license because you didn't meet the CEU requirements, you must fulfill the outstanding continuing education requirements, reapply for licensure by completing and submitting an application to Florida's state board of nursing, pass a background check and pay any additional fees that may apply. More on that is coming up.
Always keep in mind that specific requirements and procedures for license reactivation can change, so definitely visit the Florida Board of Nursing's official website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information and guidance on reactivating your RN license in Florida.
Reach out to [email protected] to request your reactivation requirements.
Nursing license renewal fees in Florida4
If you don’t complete your CEU requirements, there are renewal fees you will likely encounter (as of July 2023).
- If you renew before your license expires, it will cost $75
- If you renew your inactive license before it expires, it will cost you $130
- If you renew after your license expires, you will have to pay $130 if you’re an active RN or $240 if you're inactive and requesting to be active again
- Notified delinquent licenses will cost $205 to reactivate or $260 if you're inactive
Frequently asked questions about CEU nursing requirements in Florida
Where can you find CE providers in Florida?
The website CE Broker hosts most of the Florida board-approved CEU courses. It’s also the site you’ll need to use when you are reporting/documenting your CE.
How do Florida's CE requirements compare to other states?
CEU requirements for nurses can be different in each state. Every state's Board of Nursing sets its own rules for CEUs, like how many you need, the topics to cover and when you must complete them.
While some aspects of CEU requirements may be similar across states, there can be notable differences. For example, both Florida and the Minnesota Board of Nursing requires RNs to have 24 CEUS within a period of 24 months, while North Carolina mandates 30 CEUs within the same period.5
Additionally, states may have specific CEU topics that are particularly relevant to their local healthcare needs or regulations.
It's essential for nurses to stay informed about their specific state's CEU requirements, as these regulations can change over time. You should always refer to your state's Board of Nursing to get the most up-to-date and accurate information about CEU requirements for license renewal. In fact, bookmark that site if you haven’t already.
Can college classes convert into contact hours?
Absolutely! You can earn contact hours for completing nursing courses at an accredited institution.
However, keep in mind that general education courses (such as a general math or art course) are not eligible for continuing education credit. But nursing-specific college course that runs for 3 hours per week over a 15-week period would be worth 45 CE hours. So, make sure to choose the right courses to earn those valuable CE hours.
Note that there’s a difference between quarter-based credit hours and semester-based credit hours. According to the MN and FL Board of Nursing one credit hour per quarter is equivalent to 10 contact hours and one credit hour per semester is equivalent to 15 contact hours.6
To ensure you receive continuing education credit, it's essential to keep transcripts or legible dated grade reports for at least four years, just in case you get audited. Play it safe and keep those records handy!
Can you use hours you've earned in another state?
Yes. Continuing education courses that have been approved by a state or national nursing organization with the authority to accredit CE standards are acceptable, with the exception of those falling into the mandatory CE category.6
For mandatory courses, it is essential to ensure that they are provided by a Florida board-approved organization. So, while you have the freedom to explore accredited courses, it's crucial to adhere to the approved providers for mandatory ones. Happy learning!
Next up: Level up your credentials and expand your scope of nursing practice
CEUs are a must for nurses to maintain their RN licenses. But since college credits count toward these hours, some nurses mash two potatoes with one fork and take their nursing education up a notch.
Now that you are already working as a nurse, nursing school can be a different experience than your first go-round. For one thing, many healthcare employers offer incentives and even tuition reimbursement to encourage their nurses toward further education. For another, the deeper you go into nursing education, the more opportunity you have to specialize and gravitate toward the type of work you love most.
With so many program options and ways to attend (online, local, hybrid), you might have more choices than you realize to tailor your experience. For more ideas on what this could look like, check out 11 Facts You Didn't Know About the Rasmussen University Nursing Programs.
1The International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). The Continuing Education Unit – How to Calculate CEUs. Date accessed: 7/26/23. https://www.iacet.org/default/assets/File/pdfs/CEU%20Article_6_22_10.pdf
2Florida Board of Nursing. Florida’s Online Resource for Certified Nursing Assistants, Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, Training & Education Programs Licensure, Renewal, and Information. Date accessed: 7/27/23. https://floridasnursing.gov/
3Florida Board of Nursing. Registered Nurse (RN). Date accessed 7/27/23. https://floridasnursing.gov/help-center/can-i-use-my-specialty-nursing-certification-to-fulfill-the-continuing-education-requirements-to-renew-my-license/
4Florida Board of Nursing. License Renewal. Date accessed: 7/27/23. https://floridasnursing.gov/renewals/
5Nurse.com. State Nurse CE Requirements. Date accessed 7/27/23. https://www.nurse.com/state-nurse-ce-requirements
6Florida Board of Nursing. Nursing FAQs Mandatory CEU Requirements. Date accessed 8/15/23. https://floridasnursing.gov/nursing-faqs/mandatory-continuing-education-requirement/