There is no limit to the number of contact hours that can be completed through independent or home study courses.
Continuing Medical Education (CME Category 1)
Continuing Medical Education is acceptable for meeting RN continuing education requirements, as long as the course is Category 1, and has been taken within the appropriate time frames.
Courses taken for college or university credit can be used for RN continuing education. To compute the number of units earned into contact hours use the following formula:
- 1 quarter unit = 10 contact hours
- 1 semester unit = 15 contact hours
The course(s) must be of an advanced level (above the knowledge required for licensure).
The following courses are acceptable:
- Advanced courses in physical, social and behavioral sciences.
- Physical sciences-pathophysiology courses related to subspecialties in nursing.
- Social sciences-physical or cultural anthropology, sociology of the family and social structure change.
- Behavioral sciences-psychology courses including abnormal psychology, child psychology and mental health.
- Required basic courses in physical, social and behavioral sciences for RNs who are obtaining a baccalaureate or graduate degree or specialty certification.
- Courses where the primary focus is recent scientific knowledge applied to direct or indirect patient care.
Content related to Direct Patient/Client care can include:
- Advanced courses on any type of patient monitoring equipment (fetal, cardiac, respiratory, etc.).
- Patient education strategies
- Certification/re-certification skills such as: Advanced Life Support (ALS), audiology, etc.
- Skills courses (stoma care, etc.)
- Cultural and ethnic diversity
- Foreign languages (conversational) and sign languages
- Therapeutic interpersonal relationship skills with patients/clients
- Courses in any specialty area of nursing practice, including occupational health nursing, school nursing, office nursing, etc.
- Nursing administration or management, nursing education or nursing research
- Quality assurance
- Legal aspects of nursing
- Teaching multi-ethnic students and staff
- Retention of nurses in the health care delivery system, including cross training
- Current trends in nursing and health care
- Establishing a professional nursing business or independent practice
- Publishing for professional journals or books
- Instructor courses in CPR, basic life support (BLS) and advanced life support (ALS)
- Other courses:
- Courses that deal with grief, human sexuality, kinesiology, nutrition, crisis intervention, counseling, stress reduction, burnout syndrome, advanced nursing courses, advanced pharmacology, advanced EKG/dysrhyuthmia and advanced IV therapy
Courses Approved by Other Entities
Courses approved by appropriate state, regional and national health professional associations as well as other professional health and licensing boards in and out of California can be acceptable, so long as the content meets the Board's requirements as specified in Title 16, California Code of Regulations, Section 1456. These courses must be developed for continuing education purposes.
- Courses taken in another state, so long as the course is acceptable by that state's Board of Nursing for continuing education.
- Courses approved by ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center) approved regional accrediting bodies when these courses are taken out-of-state.
- Courses offered in California by out-of-state organizations, associations, corporations, individuals, must have a Board-approved CEP number.