Nursing CE Requirements in Pennsylvania – Everything You Should Know

Nursing CE Requirements in Pennsylvania - Everything You Should Know

In the months leading up to your nursing license renewal date, you should start focusing on your requirements. 

But what exactly are the requirements

The thing is, different types of nurses need to fulfill varying pre-requisites. 

This is why, to make things easier, we’ve put together a guide that details the nursing CE requirements in Pennsylvania for CNAs, LPNs, RNs, and APRNs. 

If you need to meet a certain number of practice hours, you’ll find that here, too.

So without further ado, let’s begin!

Pennsylvania CE Nursing Requirements

If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands right now, this table gives you the essential information you need. 

CNA(Certified Nurse Assistant)No CE Required! 

Must have worked as a nurse aid for at least 8 hours in the last 24 months
LPN(Licensed Practical Nurse)2 CE hours every 2 years
* these must be on recognizing and reporting child abuse
RN(Registered Nurse)30 CE hours every 2 years
* 2 hours must be on recognizing and reporting child abuse
APRN(Advanced Practical Registered Nurse)30 CE hours every 2 years
* 2 hours must be on recognizing and reporting child abuse 

If with prescriptive authority:
* 16 hours must be in advanced pharmacology
* 2 hours must be in pain management, identification of addiction, or practices of prescribing or dispensing opioids

Now that you’ve gotten the cliff notes version — let’s dig a bit more into the details.

Pennsylvania CNA Continuing Education Requirements

Certified Nursing Assistants need to have their certifications renewed every 2 years.

You will be happy to know that you don’t need to complete any continuing education requirements to do so. 

However, it doesn’t translate to a free ride. You must have at least 8 hours of paid work as a CNA to get your license renewed. Otherwise, your certification lapses.

When this happens, you must retake the nurse aide competency examination.

Pennsylvania LPN Continuing Education Requirements

In Pennsylvania, Licensed Practical Nurses’ CE requirements are simple. The only pre-requisite you have for your license renewal is to complete 2 contact hours.

That said, these must be for a specific topic. The Pennsylvania Board of Nursing requires all LPNs to attend a course focusing on child abuse.

The mandatory CE should revolve around recognizing child abuse and knowing how to report it.

Licensed Practical Nurses don’t need to fulfill a specific number of practice hours. It’s good news for LPNs — it means that renewing your license won’t take up too much of your time.

Pennsylvania RN Continuing Education Requirements

In most states, the renewal requirements for LPNs and RNs are often the same. Not in Pennsylvania, however.

If you’re a registered nurse, your license expires every 2years. In preparation for your renewal, you must complete 30 contact hours of continuing education. 

28 of these are electives. It means you can take any subject you want. It allows you to choose topics that are relevant to your current environment. 

Just make sure that the course is approved by the State Board of Nursing. 

The remaining 2 hours are mandatory. You need to undergo 2 hours of training focused on child abuse. It must cover recognizing the signs and reporting it. 

Like LPNs in Pennsylvania, you don’t need to present proof of practice hours. Although you have more CE hours to fulfill, it’s still more manageable than completing requirements in different areas.

Pennsylvania APRN Continuing Education Requirements 

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses have the most varied renewal requirements out of the different types of nurses. It’s because there are different types of APRNs in Pennsylvania — Certified Nurse Specialists, Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners, and Nurse Midwives.

For the most part, the renewal requirements are the same. All three have to complete 30 hours of continuing education.

Similar to the requirements of Registered Nurses, most of these — 28 to be exact — are elective. It provides you with the opportunity to select subjects that are most relevant to your field.

You also need to complete 2 hours of child abuse recognition and reporting. Remember that this is the part of your 30 hours (the mandatory part), not additional ones.

If you’re a CRNP with prescribing authority (some CRNP’s don’t), you have an additional requirement. Although your total number of contact hours doesn’t change (it’s still 30), you have to ensure the following:

  • 2 hours must be about recognizing and reporting child abuse
  • 2 hours should be about pain management, the practices of dispensing opioids, or identifying addiction
  • 16 hours must be on advanced pharmacology

If you put all those together, it totals to 20 hours. It means that you still have 10 hours of elective contact hours.


How often do you need to renew your nursing license in Pennsylvania?

All nurses in Pennsylvania renew their licenses biennially. 

LPN licenses expire on June 30th of even-number years. In comparison, RNs need to renew theirs by April 30th of odd-numbered years.

If you’re an APRN, you have to renew yours on April 30th or October 31st. You need to check your license to know which schedule to follow.

How many types of APRNs are there in Pennsylvania?

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses can work in three roles: a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP), a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), or a Nurse Midwife.

CNSs don’t have prescribing authority, but some CRNPs do. 

Are there restrictions to what Licensed Practical Nurses can do in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, Licensed Practical Nurses cannot administer these fluids intravenously:

  • Antineoplastic agents
  • Blood and blood products
  • Total parenteral nutrition
  • Titrated medications
  • Intravenous push medications besides heparin flush

In Conclusion

It’s a good idea to know the nursing CE requirements in Pennsylvania so you can plan ahead and manage your time better. 

Whether you’re a CNA, an LPN, an RN, or an APRN practicing in Pennsylvania, you’re sure to find the information you need here. 

Take a look at your CE requirements and get cracking!

Last updated: April 6, 2023 (Requirements taken from Pennsylvania BON website

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