Nursing CE Requirements in Arizona – Everything You Should Know

Nursing CE Requirements in Arizona - Everything You Should Know

Calling all nurses in Arizona…

Are you looking to renew your nursing license?

Are you not sure about the requirements for your nursing type?

Look no further. 

Here, we’re going to tell you everything you should know about the nursing CE requirements in Arizona. Whether you hold a CNA, LPN, RN, or APRN license, there’s something for you here. 

So let’s begin!

Arizona Nursing CE Requirements

If we’re only focusing on Continuing Education requirements, here’s the good news: Arizona doesn’t require nurses to complete CE hours.

That said, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do anything to complete your license renewal. Even if you don’t have to earn CEUs, there are other requirements that you must fulfill. 

For a quick review, here’s a table of renewal requirements for nurses in Arizona:

TypeRequirement
CNA(Certified Nurse Assistant)No CE Hours Required but with Renewal Requirements 
8 employment hours
LNA(Licensed Nursing Assistant)No CE Hours Required but with Renewal Requirements 
160 employment hours
No felony charges
LPN(Licensed Practical Nurse)No CE Hours Required but with Renewal Requirements 
Only one of the following must be met: 
At least 960 hours of practice within the last 5 years
Earned a nursing degree within the past 5 years 
Completed a refresher course approved by the Arizona Board within the last 5 years
Obtained an advanced nursing degree in the last 5 years (i.e. LPN to RN, RN to BSN, masters, or a doctorate)
RN(Registered Nurse)No CE Hours Required but with Renewal Requirements 
Only one of the following must be met: 
At least 960 hours of practice within the last 5 years
Earned a nursing degree within the past 5 years
Completed a refresher course approved by the Arizona Board within the last 5 years 
Obtained an advanced nursing degree in the last 5 years (i.e. LPN to RN, RN to BSN, masters, or a doctorate)
APRN(Advanced Practical Registered Nurse)No CE Hours Required but with Renewal Requirements 
960 employment hours in the last 5 years
Carries an active RN license (either in Arizona alone or a multi-state one)
Has an active national certification 
If carrying an active DEA license:
At least 3 hours of Continuing Education Units related to opioids, substance use disorder, or addiction.

Now let’s look at them in detail. 

Arizona CNA and LNA Continuing Education Requirements

Unlike other states, Arizona has two types of nursing assistants — Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) and Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNA). Their primary function is to provide support to more senior-level registered nurses.

Some of their tasks are administrative, like gathering and stocking medical supplies, documenting information, or cleaning rooms and beds. Others require direct interaction with patients, such as checking vital signs, turning or moving patients, and answering their calls.

The difference between these two appears when they need to renew their licenses every 2 years.

Though neither needs to complete CE hours, both have a specific number of employment hours that they must complete within those 2 years.

If you’re a Certified Nursing Assistant, you only need to work for 8 hours to make you eligible for renewal. Licensed Nursing Assistants need to complete 160 hours and undergo a criminal background check.

It’s important to remember that you must receive compensation for your employment hours. If you do volunteer work, it won’t fulfill your renewal requirements.

Arizona LPN Continuing Education Requirements

The renewal cycle for LPNs occurs every 4 years.

Now, some states require a combination of activities to make Licensed Practical Nurses eligible for license renewal. Arizona’s process is a little different.

It may look overwhelming at first glance, but don’t worry. When you take a closer look, you’ll notice that although there are several items in the list of requirements, these are all options.

It means that you don’t need to go through everything. The good thing about Arizona’s requirements is that you only need to choose 1 from the 4 alternatives presented.

Let’s take a look at your options.

Based on a study used by the Arizona Board of Nursing, most nurses say that active practice contributes the most to their current skill set. This is why one of the possible options is to have worked as an LPN for at least 960 hours in the last 5 years. 

It may sound like a lot, but if you practice full-time for 24 weeks, you’ve already met this requirement. 

Education is the core for the rest of the alternatives. You will be eligible for license renewal if you were able to do either of these in the last 5 years:

  • You earned a degree and graduated from a nursing program
  • You completed an Arizona Board-approved refresher course

If you received a more advanced nursing degree in the last 5 years, such as getting an RN license, you’ve already fulfilled a requirement.

Arizona RN Continuing Education Requirements

Like other states, the renewal requirements for Registered Nurses are similar to those of Licensed Practical Nurses. 

That’s good news because it means you’ll also have the option to do only one of the available options.

You can choose to actively practice being a Registered Nurse for at least 960 hours.

If you graduated from a nursing program and received a degree in the last 5 years, you can already have your license renewed. If not, see if you can find a refresher course approved by the Arizona Nursing Board. 

Your last alternative is to get a more advanced degree, such as a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), a master’s, or a doctorate.

Arizona APRN Continuing Education Requirements 

Being an active Registered Nurse is a requirement to be an APRN. In turn, your APRN license expires simultaneously with your RN license.

So in order to renew your APRN license, you need to renew your RN license first.

Unlike LPNs and RNs, APRNs must complete several requirements for their license renewal. One of these is having practiced as an APRN for at least 960 hours in the last 5 years.

You must also carry an active RN license, regardless of whether it’s specifically for Arizona or one with multi-state privileges. Besides this, your national certification must be active at the time of renewal.

If you hold an active DEA license, you need an additional 3 CE hours on any of the following subjects:

  • Opioids
  • Substance use disorder
  • Addiction

Frequently Asked Questions 

You may have more questions about renewal requirements. Here are the most commonly asked ones.

What is the difference between an LNA and a CNA?

There’s very little difference between an LNA and CNA regarding duties. The difference lies with their renewal requirements.

What is the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact, and is Arizona a part of it?

The Nurse Licensure Compact allows nurses to practice in their state of residency and other NLC states. The Interstate Commission on Nurse Licensure Compact Administrators designed it to give nurses greater mobility.

If you have a multi-state license, you may practice in all NLC states in person or through telehealth. 

Arizona, along with 32 other states, has implemented the NLC. You can check the NCSBN website to see a complete list of NLC states.

Remember that the NLC is only for LPNs and RNs. The NCSBN is currently working on a separate compact for APRNs.

What activities count as practice for LPN and RN license renewals?

You can engage in several activities that could count towards your 960 hours of practice. These may include teaching nursing, supervising care, and clinical experience in a nursing program.

Other possibilities are volunteering in a nursing organization or health screenings. Private duty hours may count, but you’ll have to submit documentation about your employer. You must also include what nursing knowledge you used and the duties performed.

Conclusion

You need to keep track of many things when you’re working on renewing your license. It’s easy to get confused or overwhelmed.

Fortunately, now you have a guide regarding the various requirements. Regardless of whether you’re a CNA (or an LNA), an LPN, an RN, or an APRN, you can find information to help you here.

Last updated: March 28, 2023 (Requirements taken from Arizona State BON website

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