Have you ever hiked or even just walked in the mountains? You struggle to get up to the top of a slope, and what do you see? Usually, you see a higher mountain beyond, beckoning and relentlessly challenging you onward.
In nursing work, the more you learn, the more you discover the endless possibilities of personal and professional development. Every time you have to renew your license, you struggle up another hill, and a new horizon comes into sight. New Jersey’s requirements for renewal of nursing licenses support learning for ever-advancing healthcare quality and success as a nurse.
Although continuing education is a requirement, it is also an opportunity to keep moving toward your professional goals, whether you are a licensed practical nurse (LPN), a registered nurse (RN), or an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).
Continuing education (CE) requirements, often called continuing education units (CEUs) or contact hours, pace your climb up the next hill, aiming for the forefront of nursing practice.
This resource guide has been compiled based on publicly available information. Please refer to the New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing (NJCCN) website for official guidance or case-specific questions.
What Are the CE Requirements for LPN, RN, or APRN License Renewal?
For all NJ nurses—LPNs, RNs, and APRNs—the NJ Board of Nursing mandates that as a prerequisite to applying for renewal, all licensed nurses fulfill a minimum of 30 Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) contact hours within the two years immediately before their license renewal.
One Hour on Prescription Opioid Drugs
Within these CNE contact hours, all nurses must complete at least one on prescription opioid drugs, including alternatives to opioids for pain management and information on the risks and indicators of opioid abuse, addiction, and diversion.
New Jersey RN License Renewal Requirements
RNs whose nursing school and previous CNE courses did not include this subject are also required to complete—one time only—a one-hour class on organ and tissue donation and recovery.
Why Is Continuing Education Important for Nurses?
For quality healthcare and a fulfilling nursing career, nurses must continue learning, regardless of whether or not it’s a requisite for licensure renewal. Here are a few significant reasons continued nursing education is essential:
- Updating and informing yourself of new research and developments and applying this knowledge in nursing practice
- Developing skills for your next career move
- Reinforcing an eager and humble learning attitude even after years of experience
- Sharing experience, information, and understanding with other nurses and earning their trust and respect
- Protecting healthcare institutions from liability
The American Nurses Credential Center supports a “continuum of health professional education from admission into a health professional program to retirement that values, exemplifies, and assesses lifelong learning...”
You Can Find the Type of CE That Suits Your Learning Style
Not all CE contact hours are traditional classroom or online instruction. Other formats may include the following and more:
- Online and live webinars
- Self-study educational packets
- Presenting a new seminar to professional peers
- An approved research project or doctoral dissertation
- Teaching CNE
- Authorship of a peer-reviewed published article or a printed textbook
- Preceptorship in an organized program
You can see the complete list of NJ regulations for CNE here.
A professional nursing organization such as the ANCC must accredit continuing education hours, and the New Jersey State Board of Nursing must approve the CNE contact hours for them to meet licensure renewal requirements.
Steps to Renew Your NJ Nursing License
According to the information publicly available, here are the steps needed to maintain an active New Jersey license.
Step1: Meeting Continuing Competency Requirements
To get the most out of continuing education, choose the courses or activities you want to complete for the 30 contact-hour CE requirement and make a plan to get the ones you want.
If you have more than 30 hours, you can carry forward a maximum of 15 additional continuing nursing education contact hours into the subsequent renewal period.
Hold onto your continuing education certificates for at least five years since the New Jersey Board of Nurses may do random audits.
Step 2: Timing Your Renewal Application
New Jersey nursing licenses are valid for two years; the expiration date is May 31st, and the renewal process typically takes 10-15 days to complete.
Your NJ license will expire unless you renew it by the expiration date. However, you can still renew it 30 days after the expiration date, paying a late fee. If you do not renew your license within 30 days of expiration, your license will be administratively suspended without a hearing.
Again, this information serves as your resource guide, but check with the official regulations in New Jersey. You can review the NJ Consumer Affairs CE FAQs.
Step 3: Submitting Your Renewal Application and Paying the Fee
Whether you are currently working or not, keep your nursing license up-to-date. Then, you can take advantage of high-paying, flexible per diem nursing jobs available through Nursa, which makes it a breeze to secure shifts close to home.