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)        All licensed practical nurses shall complete 20 hours of approved continuing education per 2-year license renewal cycle.


B)        All registered nurses shall complete 20 hours of approved continuing education per 2-year license renewal cycle.


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 in the APRN's clinical specialty, evidence-based practice, or quality improvement projects, publications, research projects, or preceptor hours.


2)         The following time equivalencies shall apply:


1 contact hour


60 minutes

1 academic semester hour


15 contact hours

1 academic quarter hour


12.5 contact hours



1 contact hour



1 contact hour



1 contact hour


3)         All CE must be completed in the 24 months preceding expiration of the license.


4)         A renewal applicant shall not be required to comply with CE requirements for the first renewal of an Illinois license.


5)         Nurses licensed in Illinois but residing and practicing in other states shall comply with the CE requirements set forth in this Section.


6)         Continuing education hours used to satisfy the CE requirements of another jurisdiction may be applied to fulfill the CE requirements of the State of Illinois pursuant to the provisions set forth in subsection (e).


b)         Approved Continuing Education


1)         CE hours shall be earned by verified attendance at (e.g., certificate of attendance or certificate of completion) or participation in a program or course (program) that is offered or sponsored by an approved CE sponsor who meets the requirements set forth in subsection (c), except for those activities provided in subsections (b)(2), (3) and (4).


2)         Independent study that is approved for CE credits as set forth in subsection (c) may be used, i.e., home study programs, articles from journals, and other health discipline independent study modules.


3)         Academic credits may be used to fulfill CE requirements if the course content is consistent with subsection (c)(3).  CE hours are awarded as outlined in subsection (a)(4).


A)        College/university courses that are audited may not be used for CE credit.


B)        Degree "core" or general education credits such as English, literature, history, math, music and physical education may not be used.


4)         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.


5)         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).


6)         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, Health and Safety Institute (HSI), or other qualified organization may be accepted, while a maximum of 3 hours may be accepted for certification or recertification in Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), or Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) or their equivalent.


7)         CE Options for APRNs


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.


B)        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.


c)         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 Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).


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


G)        American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), 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)         American Nurses Association-Illinois (ANA-Illinois).


K)        Illinois Nurse Association or its affiliates.


L)        Providers approved by another state's board of nursing.


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


N)        Employers licensed under the Hospital Licensing Act [210 ILCS 85] or the Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Center Act [210 ILCS 5].


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


2)         An entity seeking approval as a CE sponsor, not specifically listed in subsection (c)(1), shall submit an application, on forms supplied by the Division, along with the application fee specified in Section 1300.30(a)(5).  The application shall include:


A)        Certification:


i)          That all programs offered by the sponsor for CE credit will comply with the criteria in subsection (c)(3) and all other criteria in this Section;


ii)         That the sponsor will be responsible for verifying full-time continuous attendance at each program and provide a certificate of attendance as set forth in subsection (c)(7);


iii)        That, upon request by the Division, the sponsor will submit evidence (e.g., certificate of attendance or course material) necessary to establish compliance with this Section.  Evidence shall be required when the Division has reason to believe that there is not full compliance with the statute.


B)        A copy of a sample program with faculty, course materials and syllabi.


3)         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 requirements for license renewal.


4)         Each CE program shall provide a mechanism for evaluation of the program and instructor by the participants.  The evaluation may be completed on-site immediately following the program/presentation, or an evaluation questionnaire may be distributed to participants to be completed and returned by mail.  The sponsor and instructor, together, shall review the evaluation outcome and revise subsequent programs accordingly.


5)         A sponsor approved pursuant to subsection (c)(1) may subcontract with individuals or organizations to provide approved programs.  All advertising, promotional materials and certificates of attendance must identify the approved sponsor.  The presenter of the program may also be identified but should be identified as a presenter.  When an approved sponsor subcontracts with a presenter, the sponsor retains all responsibility for monitoring attendance, providing certificates of attendance and ensuring the program meets all of the criteria established by the Act and this Part, including the maintenance of records.


6)         To maintain approval as a sponsor approved under subsection (c)(2), each sponsor shall submit to the Division by May 31 of each even-numbered year a renewal application and the renewal fee specified in Section 1300.30(b).


7)         Certification of Attendance.  It shall be the responsibility of a sponsor to provide each participant in a program with a certificate of attendance or participation.  The sponsor's certificate of attendance shall contain:


A)        The sponsor's name and, if applicable, sponsor approval number;


B)        The name of the participant;


C)        A brief statement of the subject matter;


D)        The number of hours attended in each program;


E)        The date and place of the program; and


F)         The signature of the sponsor.


8)         The sponsor shall maintain attendance records for not less than 5 years.


9)         The sponsor shall be responsible for assuring that no renewal applicant will receive CE credit for time not actually spent attending the program.


10)         Upon the failure of a sponsor to comply with any of the requirements of this subsection (c), the Division, after notice to the sponsor and hearing before and recommendation by the Board (see 68 Ill. Adm. Code 1110), shall thereafter refuse to accept for CE attendance at or participation in any of that sponsor's CE programs until such time as the Division receives assurances of compliance with this Section.


11)         Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section, the Division or Board may evaluate any sponsor of any approved CE program at any time to ensure compliance with requirements of this Section.


d)         Certification of Compliance with CE Requirements


1)         Each renewal applicant shall certify, on the renewal application, full compliance with the CE requirements set forth in subsections (a) and (b).


2)         The Division may require additional evidence demonstrating compliance with the CE requirements (e.g., certificates of attendance).  This additional evidence shall be required in the context of the Division's random audit.  It is the responsibility of each renewal applicant to retain or otherwise produce evidence of compliance.


3)         When there appears to be a lack of compliance with CE requirements, an applicant shall be notified in writing and may request an interview with the Board.  At that time the Board may recommend that steps be taken to begin formal disciplinary proceedings as required by Section 10-65 of the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act [5 ILCS 100].


e)         Continuing Education Earned in Other Jurisdictions


1)         If a licensee has earned CE hours offered in another jurisdiction not given by an approved sponsor for which the licensee will be claiming credit toward full compliance in Illinois, the applicant shall submit an individual program approval request form, along with a $25 processing fee, prior to participation in the program or within 90 days prior to expiration of the license.  The Board shall review and recommend approval or disapproval of the program using the criteria set forth in subsection (c)(3).


2)         If a licensee fails to submit an out-of-state CE approval form within the required time frame, late approval may be obtained by submitting the approval request with the $25 processing fee plus a late fee of $50 per CE hour, not to exceed $300.  The Board shall review and recommend approval or disapproval of the program using the criteria set forth in subsection (c)(3).


f)         Waiver of CE Requirements


1)         Any renewal applicant seeking renewal of a license without having fully complied with these CE requirements shall file with the Division a renewal application, along with the required fee set forth in Section 1300.30(b), a statement setting forth the facts concerning noncompliance and a request for waiver of the CE requirements on the basis of these facts.  A request for waiver shall be made prior to the renewal date.  If the Division, upon the written recommendation of the Board, finds from the affidavit or any other evidence submitted that extreme hardship has been shown for granting a waiver, the Division will waive enforcement of CE requirements for the renewal period for which the applicant has applied.


2)         Extreme hardship shall be determined on an individual basis by the Board and be defined as an inability to devote sufficient hours to fulfilling the CE requirements during the applicable prerenewal period because of:


A)        Full-time service in the Armed Forces of the United States during a substantial part of the prerenewal period;


B)        An incapacitating illness documented by a currently licensed health care provider;


C)        A physical inability to access the sites of approved programs documented by a currently licensed health care provider; or


D)        Any other similar extenuating circumstances.


3)         When the licensee is requesting a waiver due to physical or mental illness or incapacity, the licensee shall provide a current fitness to practice statement from a currently licensed health care provider familiar with the licensee's medical history.


4)         Any renewal applicant who, prior to the expiration date of the license, submits a request for a waiver, in whole or in part, pursuant to the provisions of this Section shall be deemed to be in good standing until the final decision on the application is made by the Division.


(Source:  Amended at 45 Ill. Reg. 228, effective January 4, 2021)