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2020 Illinois LPN Continuing Education Re-Licensure FAQs

The Department has received many inquiries regarding continuing education and in particular the upcoming Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) license renewal by January 31, 2021. 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 LPNs beginning January 1, 2020:

a. All LPNs 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 20 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 IDFPR Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

What are the CE rules for LPNs who are renewing their license by January 31, 2021?

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: …

               A) Beginning with the January 31, 2013 renewal, all licensed practical nurses shall complete 20 hours of approved continuing education per 2-year license renewal cycle.

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 2021 LPN renewal, all CE must have been completed between February 1, 2019 and January 31, 2021.

This is my first time renewing my Illinois LPN license - do I need to complete 20 hours of CE prior to January 31, 2021?

a. No, a renewal applicant shall not be required to comply with CE requirements for the first renewal of an Illinois LPN 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 LPN 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 LPN re-licensure per Section 1300.130(a)(6).

Are there different ways to earn CE hours for Illinois LPN renewal?

a. CE hours for LPN re-licensure shall be earned by verified attendance or participation in a program or course that is offered or sponsored by an approved CE Sponsor. Per the Rules, CE may be earned through a variety of ways including but not limited to in-person classes or seminars, academic classes, teaching CE courses or publication.

How do I know if the sponsor is approved or licensed? Is there a list of approved CE Sponsors and Programs for Illinois re-licensure in 2021?

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.

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

What academic credits may be used to fulfill CE requirements for Illinois LPN re-licensure in 2021?

a. Academic credits may be used to fulfill CE requirements if the course content is consistent with subsection (c ) (3):

     i. all programs shall: A) contribute to the advancement, extension and enhancement of the professional skills and scientific knowledge of the licensee in the practice of nursing; B) foster the enhancement of general or specialized nursing practice and values; C) be developed and presented by persons with education and/or experience in the subject matter of the program; D) specify the course objectives, course content and teaching methods to be used; and E) specify the number of CE hours that may be applied to fulfilling the Illinois CE requirement for Illinois license renewal.

b. Courses that may not be used are degree core or general education credits such as English, literature, history, math, music and physical education.

If a CE course is approved by another State Board of Nursing, and that course has been completed in the required time period for Illinois LPN re-licensure 2021, will those CE credits be eligible for Illinois LPN re-licensure in 2021?

a. Yes, as indicated Section 1300.130 (c) (1) (L).

What if a CE course was taken on-line or through a nursing journal, may these CE credits be used for Illinois LPN re-licensure in 2021?

a. If the independent study course, such as home study program, articles from journals, and other health discipline independent study modules that is approved for CE credits is an approved CE Sponsor as listed in the Rules for the Administration of the Nurse Practice, Section 1300.130 c), or the sponsor has a CE license, then yes, the CE credits as listed on the document of course completion may be used towards Illinois LPN re-licensure in 2021.

Will completion of a skills certification course be used towards Illinois LPN re-licensure in 2021?

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.

Will I have to provide copies of CE course completion documents for Illinois LPN re-licensure in 2021?

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 LPN license renewal in 2021?

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 LPN re-licensure in 2021.