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2020 Illinois APRN Continuing Education Re-Licensure FAQs

The Department has received many inquiries regarding continuing education and in particular the upcoming Advanced Practice Registered Professional Nurse (APRN) license renewal by May 31, 2020. The questions and answers listed below will hopefully provide some clarification. Please note that a complete copy of the Nurse Practice Act and the Rules may be found on the Department’s Website (IDFPR) or on the Nursing Workforce Center’s Website.

There is a new CE requirement for Illinois APRNs beginning January 1, 2020:

a. All APRNs shall complete a one-hour CE course in sexual harassment training.

b. This 1 hour of sexual harassment prevention training CE course is intended to fit into the licensee’s regular CE requirements. 1 of the 80 hours of required CE must be a sexual harassment prevention training course.

c. Additional information regarding this new requirement for license renewal in 2020 is available: 2019-11 Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

What are the CE rules for APRNs who are renewing their license by May 31, 2020?

A: Below is an excerpt from the official rules regarding continuing education:
Rules for the Administration of: The Nurse Practice Act: Section 1300.130 Continuing Education

     a) Continuing Education (CE) Requirements

          1) As required by the Act, all nurses shall complete continuing education as follows:

               C) All advanced practice registered nurses shall complete 80 hours of approved continuing education in the advanced practice registered nurse’s specialty per 2-year license renewal cycle. Completion of the 80 hours under this subsection (a)(1)(C ) shall satisfy the continuing education requirements for renewal of a registered professional nurse license. An APRN holding more than one APRN license is required to complete 80 hours of continuing education total per license renewal period. The 80 hours of continuing education required shall be completed as follows:

                    i) A minimum of 50 hours of the continuing education shall be obtained in continuing education programs that shall include no less than 20 hours of pharmacotherapeutics, including 10 hours of opioid prescribing or substance abuse education.

                    ii) A maximum of 30 hours of credit may be obtained by presentations of the APRN’s clinical specialty, evidence-based practice, or quality improvement projects, publications, research projects, or preceptor hours.

During what time period must the Continuing Education (CE) be completed?

a. All CE courses must be completed in the 24 months preceding expiration of the license. For the upcoming 2020 APRN renewal, all CE must have been completed between June 1, 2018 and May 31, 2020.

This is my first time renewing my Illinois APRN license - do I need to complete 80 hours of CE prior to May 31, 2020?

a. No, a renewal applicant shall not be required to comply with CE requirements for the first renewal of an IL APRN license, Nurse Practice Act Rules: Section 1300.130 a) 4).

I completed continuing education hours for my nursing license in another state, will I be able to use those same completed courses for Illinois APRN re-licensure CE courses?

a. Yes, CE hours used to satisfy the CE requirements of another jurisdiction may be applied to fulfill the CE requirements of the State of Illinois for APRN re-licensure per Section 1300.130(a)(6).

Will completion of a skills certification course be used towards Illinois APRN re-licensure in 2020?

a. Up to 5 CE hours may be earned for completion of skills certification courses. A maximum of 2 hours in cardiopulmonary resuscitation certified by the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or other qualified organization may be accepted, while a maximum of 3 hours may be accepted for certification or recertification of Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), or Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) or their equivalent.

Are there equivalencies for Continuing Education CE?

a. 1 contact hour = 1 CE

b. 1 contact hour = 60 minutes

c. 1 academic semester hour = 15 contact hours/15 CE

d. 1 academic quarter hour = 12.5 contact hours/12.5 CE

e. 1 CME = 1 contact hour/1 CE

f. 1 CNE = 1 contact hour/1 CE

g. 1 AMA = 1 contact hour/CE

How do I know if the sponsor is approved or licensed? Is there a list of approved CE Sponsors and Programs for Illinois APRN re-licensure in 2020?

CE sponsors must either be pre-approved per Rule 1300.130 or must have a CE sponsor license. There is no single list of valid CE sponsors.

a. The list of pre-approved CE Sponsors and Programs is in the Rules for the Administration of the Nurse Practice, Section 1300.130: c) Pre-Approved CE Sponsors and Programs

     1) Sponsor, as used in this Section, shall mean:

          A) Approved providers of recognized certification bodies as outlined in Section 1300.400(a).

          B) Any conference that provides approved Continuing Medical Education (CME) as authorized by the Illinois Medical Practice Act.

          C) American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) accredited or approved providers.

          D) Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing (ISAPN).

          E) American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

          F) Nurse Practitioner Association for Continuing Education (NPACE).

          G) American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, or National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCNA).

          H) National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS).

          I) American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM).

          J) Illinois Nurse Association or its affiliates (ANA-Illinois)

          K) Providers approved by another state's board of nursing

          L) Nursing education programs approved under Section 1300.230 or 1300.340 wishing to offer CE courses or programs.

          M) Employers licensed under the Hospital Licensing Act [210 ILCS 85] or the Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Center Act [210 ILCS5].

          N) Any other accredited school, college or university, or State agency, federal agency, county agency or municipality that provides CE in a form and manner consistent with this Section.

b. To look up whether an organization holds a license as an Illinois Nursing CE Sponsor, go to the IDFPR website, License Look Up: type in: Nurse CE Sponsor, then type in the name of the organization.

Presenter/Lecturer presentations made to other health professionals

a. Presenter/lecturer presentations made to other health professionals on topics related to the certification area may be used for CE credit. Each different individual, non-repetitive 60- minute lecture may be used for 5 CE hours. Full-time educators may not use presentations/lectures that are part of their job expectations, but may use guest lectures and other presentations made outside the duties of their job.

CE hours may be earned for research

a. CE hours may be earned for authoring papers, publications, articles, dissertations, book chapters or research projects. These must be applicable to the practice area. The research project must be completed during the prerenewal period. Authoring a paper or publishing articles may be used for 10 CE hours. Authoring a book chapter, dissertation or research project may be used for 20 CE hours. APRNs may obtain a maximum of 30 CE hours earned under this subsection (b)(5).

CE hours may be earned for preceptorship

a. CE hours may be earned through preceptorship of an APRN student. Preceptors must provide clinical supervision and education to the APRN student. Documentation must be provided from the school of nursing in which the student is enrolled. Precepting one student for an academic semester or quarter may be used for 10 CE hours. Not more than 30 CE hours in each renewal period may come from precepting.

CE hours may be earned for recertification exam

a. Successful completion, during the prerenewal period, of a recertification exam in the APRN’s area of specialty as recognized in Section 1300.10 may be used for 60 CE hours.

Is there a safe opioid prescribing practices Continuing Education (CE) requirement in effect for all prescribers renewing in 2020?

a. Yes, prescribers with Controlled Substances Registrations are required to complete 3 hours of continuing education (CE) on safe opioid prescribing practices to renew their Controlled Substances Registration. This requirement can be included in the total number of hours required to renew a professional license. This requirement will be in effect for all Controlled Substances Registration renewals in 2020 and after. For additional information regarding this license renewal requirement beginning in 2020: IDFPR Safe Opioid RX CE FAQ

Will I have to provide copies of CE course completion documents for Illinois APRN re-licensure in 2020?

a. Each licensee is responsible for maintaining records of completion of continuing education and shall be prepared to produce the records if requested by the Department.

What is the fee for Illinois APRN license renewal in 2020?

a. The fee for the renewal of a professional nurse license shall be calculated at the rate of $40.00 per year, or $80.00 at the time of Illinois APRN re-licensure in 2020.