Nursing CE Requirements in South Carolina 2023 – Everything You Should Know

Nursing CE Requirements in South Carolina Everything You Should Know

We understand that nurses are busy — now more than ever. 

With all the tasks and responsibilities you juggle, trying to keep your renewal requirements straight in your head is not the easiest. 

We’re here to help. 

Since we’re all about convenience, we’ve compiled an in-depth guide on nursing CE requirements in South Carolina for you. 

Here, you’ll see whether you need to fulfill contact hours, practice hours, or whether there are other ways to complete your requirements.

Regardless of whether you’re a CNA, an LPN, an RN, or an APRN, there’s something for you here. So let’s get started!

South Carolina Nursing CE Requirements

If you don’t have the luxury of time, it’s not a problem. The table we’ve put together gives you the bare essentials of your renewal requirements. 

CNA(Certified Nursing 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)30 CE hours every 2 years 


Maintaining a certification or getting re-certified 


Completion of an academic program on nursing or a related field 


Verification of competency through practice hours
RN(Registered Nurse)30 CE hours every 2 years 


Maintaining a certification or getting re-certified 


Completion of an academic program on nursing or a related field


Verification of competency through practice hours
APRN(Advanced Practical Registered Nurse)If with prescriptive authority:
* Maintain national certification
* 20 contact hours on pharmacology
* 2 contact hours out of the 20 should be on prescribing controlled substances

If without prescriptive authority:
* Maintain national certification

Now, let’s look at the details. 

South Carolina CNA Continuing Education Requirements

If you’re a Certified Nursing Assistant in South Carolina, you’re in luck! There are no CE requirements for you to complete to renew your certification.

That said, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing left to do. 

CNAs are the only types of nurses that have required practice hours. 

Don’t worry, though. The South Carolina Board of Nursing only requires a minimum of 8 hours of paid work as a nurse aide. If you’ve got that covered, then you’re all set.

Generally, you’ll receive a notice around 90 days before your certification expires. However, regardless of whether you get it or not, you are expected to undergo the renewal process on time. 

If you miss it, you need to reinstate your certification. This means you have to retake the Pearson Vue CAN competency exam and pass it.

South Carolina LPN Continuing Education Requirements

Licensed Practical Nurses in South Carolina have 4 options to fulfill their renewal requirements. It’s a significant advantage because it allows you to choose the most convenient path for you.

Your first option is to complete continuing education hours. In South Carolina, LPNs need to earn 30 contact hours. 

All these are electives, which means you can select the subjects that benefit you the most.

Maintaining certification is your second option. If you go this route, make sure you’re awarded your recertification within the renewal cycle.

You can also choose to attend and complete an academic program focusing on nursing or a related field. 

If you want to put all your energy into practicing (which is an excellent way of developing your competency), you can go with the last option. Have your competency verified through practice hours. Your employer needs to complete a board-approved form as proof.

South Carolina RN Continuing Education Requirements

Registered Nurses have similar renewal requirements as LPNs in South Carolina. So, you also have 4 paths to choose from. 

  • Complete 30 hours of continuing education. The subjects are all electives. 
  • Maintain your certification or get recertified. 
  • Complete an academic program. You only need to ensure you choose a program focused on nursing. If it isn’t, it must at least be a field related to it.
  • Get verified practice hours. Ensure your employer uses the board-approved form if this is your preference. Otherwise, it may not earn credits for renewal.

Remember that you only need to complete one of the 4 options to qualify for license renewal in South Carolina. 

South Carolina APRN Continuing Education Requirements 

For Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, the requirements for license renewal are slightly different.

What do we mean by that? Well, APRNs fall into two categories — those with prescriptive authority and those without it.

If you don’t prescribe medication, you only need to maintain your national certification.

It becomes a bit more detailed if you have prescriptive authority. You still have to maintain national certification, but you also have mandatory courses to take.

You need to take 20 contact hours of CE on pharmacology. 

And it doesn’t stop there. Your 20 hours in pharmacology should include 2 hours on prescribing controlled substances.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do nurses need to renew their licenses in South Carolina?

You have to renew your license every 2 years. Regardless of the type of license you have, all nursing licenses in South Carolina expire by April 30th of even-numbered years.

Can I take all my required nursing CE hours online in South Carolina?

Yes. There isn’t a limit to the number of contact hours you can earn through correspondence or online courses. They will count towards your renewal as long as you choose those delivered by board-approved organizations.

Be careful, though, of the activities you select. If you mistakenly take the same course multiple times, it only counts as one.

Which organizations are approved by the Board of Nursing of South Carolina?

Programs from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), American Nurses Association (ANA), and American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) are all approved. 

There are a lot of other board-approved organizations. The South Carolina Board of Nursing provides a comprehensive list here.

What information must be present in the completion certificates?

To ensure that you’ll receive credit for the course you took, your Certificate of Attendance must have the following:

  • Complete name
  • Title of educational activity
  • Date of activity
  • Provider, course number, and address
  • Number of contact hours

What happens if I exceed 30 continuing education hours in a renewal cycle?

The good news is you’re up to speed on the subjects you choose to study. Unfortunately, in South Carolina, you can’t carry contact hours to the next cycle. 

So even if you completed 40 hours for the current renewal period. Once the next one begins, you’ll still have to earn 30 contact hours, not 20. 


And there you have it — all the nursing CE requirements in South Carolina. 

We know that completing your requirements will take time and energy, but it’s an integral part of your career. Fortunately, knowing what you need to complete allows you to strategize your approach.

So, here’s to your upcoming renewal. Good luck!

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

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