“Do I need to take nursing CE? If so, how many hours do I need to renew my nursing license?”
That’s a question every nurse has to consider after becoming licensed or certified.
Because the medical environment keeps advancing (as well as patient needs and cases), you must keep yourself sharp and updated.
That’s why many states have continuing education requirements for license renewal.
However, requirements vary among states — what is mandatory in some might not be in others.
It also varies depending on what kind of nurse you are.
And that’s where the confusion can come in.
To help you out, we’ve created a guide that walks you through the nursing CE requirements in Colorado.
Our guide covers all types of nurses — CNA, LPN, RN, or APRN. So, you can find the requirements specific to you.
We’ll also answer the following FAQs:
- How often do you need to renew your nursing license in Colorado?
- What is the Nurse Licensure Compact, and is Colorado part of it?
- How much do I need to spend to renew my license in Colorado?
- What happens if I fail to renew my RN license before it expires?
- Can I still take CE courses even if these aren’t required?
- Are all APRNs the same?
Are you ready to dive into the details? Let’s go!
Colorado Nursing CE Requirements
Renewing your license is essential to your nursing career — In fact, you can’t continue your practice without it!
The question is, do you need to comply with any education requirements before you can do so?
Guess what? Whether you’re a NA, LPN, RN, or APRN, we’ve got the answers!
The table below gives you a snapshot of CE requirements for Colorado nurses.
|CNA (Certified Nurse Aide)
|No nursing CE required!
You must have worked as a CNA for 8 hours or more in the last 24 months
|LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse)
|No nursing CE required!
|RN (Registered Nurse)
|No nursing CE required!
|APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse)
|Maintain national certification For those with prescriptive authority – 2 hours of training on substance use
Let’s look closer at each one.
Colorado CNA Continuing Education Requirements
Nurse Aides in Colorado don’t need to complete continuing education to qualify for a renewal.
However, just because you don’t need to complete any courses doesn’t mean your NA certification renews automatically.
You still have to complete the process online — and the system only allows you to do it four to six weeks before your license’s expiration date.
You must also have worked as a CNA for at least eight hours within the renewal cycle. Remember, receiving compensation for your efforts is essential for it to be counted.
Whatever hours you spent working as a volunteer does not count, even if it was in the capacity of a healthcare professional.
Colorado LPN Continuing Education Requirements
Colorado’s Board of Nursing doesn’t apply any continuing education requirements for Licensed Practical Nurses who want to renew their licenses.
That saves you the effort of finding acceptable courses or activities before it expires every two years.
Just remember that all LPN licenses expire on August 31 of even-numbered years.
Colorado RN Continuing Education Requirements
Like LPNs, Registered Nurses do not need to fulfill any continuing education requirements before renewing their nursing license.
You can renew your nursing license through the Department of Regulatory Affairs’ website.
If you don’t complete the process before it expires, you must apply for reinstatement to continue working as an RN.
RN licenses expire every 2 years on September 30. This can either be on an odd- or even-numbered year, depending on when your license was first issued.
Colorado APRN Continuing Education Requirements
To renew your APRN license in Colorado, you have to maintain your national certification.
Colorado does not have additional CE requirements except the ones required by your national organization.
However, if you have prescriptive authority, you must complete two hours of continuing education. These must specifically be on substance use prevention.
This requirement is a recent change and only affects those who need to renew on or after October 1, 2022.
It also only applies to APRNs that have the authority to prescribe opioids. Remember, there are different kinds of APRNs, and opioid prescription may not be part of everyone’s scope.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often do you need to renew your nursing license in Colorado?
All types of nurses in Colorado need to renew their nursing licenses every 2 years. However, expiration dates vary, depending on what type of nurse you are.
For example, NA nursing licenses expire on January 31 for odd-numbered years.
The Colorado Board of Nursing sends a notice two to three months before as a reminder. However, you’re responsible for keeping your CNA license active even if you don’t receive it.
Licensed Practical Nurses must renew their license by August 31 of even-numbered years.
Registered Nurses must renew their licenses before September 30 every two years, whether in odd- or even-numbered years. It depends on when the BON issued it to you.
The same applies to APRNs. You renew your APRN license along with your RN license.
What is the Nurse Licensure Compact, and is Colorado part of it?
The NLC allows nurses to practice in other compact states without applying for multiple licenses. Since January 19, 2018, Colorado has enacted the eNLC.
This benefits both nurses and patients.
The former gets more work opportunities while the latter receives more access to healthcare. However, remember that the NLC (or its enhanced version, the eNLC) only applies to RNs and LPNs.
How much do I need to spend to renew my license in Colorado?
The renewal fee in Colorado is $180. The amount applies to all types of nurses, whether NAs, LPNs, RNs, or APRNs.
What happens if I fail to renew my RN license before it expires?
Nurses who don’t renew their licenses must have them reinstated before continuing to practice.
Although you can still complete this process online, you may have to fulfill more requirements.
You can visit the Colorado Department of Regulatory Affairs website to get the details for your license type.
Can I still take CE courses even if these aren’t required?
Except for APRNs, nurses in Colorado don’t need to comply with CE requirements to renew their licenses. However, there’s nothing that states you can’t take courses voluntarily.
Keeping yourself updated with changes within the medical industry is crucial. It may help you provide better patient care and allow you to develop your capabilities.
Are all APRNs the same?
There are different types of Advanced Practical Nurses in Colorado. Depending on your specialization, you can follow the following paths:
- Certified Nurse Practitioner: Provides health education and counseling besides disease prevention and health promotion. They can diagnose and manage diseases, whether acute or chronic.
- Clinical Nurse Specialists: Diagnoses and treats various health and illness states. They can also help with disease management, illness prevention, and health promotion to people in different settings.
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist: Provides anesthesia and anesthesia-related care to patients throughout their lifetime.
- Certified Nurse-Midwife: Provides gynecologic care and family planning services. They can help with preconception care, prenatal and postpartum care, childbirth, and care of the newborn.
Do you feel relieved?
Keeping track of nursing CE requirements for renewal can get confusing.
You have to keep a record of how many hours you were able to accomplish in the course of the renewal period.
But if you’re from Colorado, you have it easy!
This guide has shown you that only APRNS have to keep track of CE hours.
However, it’s best to keep yourself updated on any changes in CE rules (such as the recent change for APRNs with prescriptive authority).
And remember! Whether or not you need to comply with nursing CE requirements in Colorado, keeping your nursing license active is still crucial to your career.
Don’t forget to keep your renewal schedule in mind — we know it can easily fall through the cracks, especially when you’re busy.
Aside from that, remember to keep yourself updated. Just because no CE is required doesn’t mean you can fall behind in nursing advancements.
We hope you found this helpful! Best wishes!
Last Updated: July 25, 2023 (Requirements taken from Colorado BON website)