In some career fields, you can graduate college and never have to open another textbook or online class session again. For nurses, that’s far from reality. Instead, nurses need to complete continuing education units (CEUs) throughout their careers. Even if you didn't graduate this year, the education continues. To make your continued education as easy as possible, we researched the best CEU providers and free nursing CEU programs in the state of North Carolina. Read on to find free CEUs that align with your professional goals.
Why do CEUs matter?
Throughout your nursing career, you need to apply for license renewal. A requirement for renewal in North Carolina, along with most other states, is proof you’re continuing to learn about the field of nursing. Because nursing specifically and healthcare generally change so quickly, it’s important to stay up-to-date on emerging research, treatments, and technologies. CEUs give you the power to stay current, and they show that commitment to your state’s nursing board.
How many CEUs are needed for license renewal?
In North Carolina, CEUs fall under the continuing competence requirement for both license renewal and reinstatement. To meet the continuing competitive requirement, you must meet 1 of the following requirements:
15 CEU hours and 640 hours of active practice over the last two years
30 CEU hours
A credential or recertification from a board-approved national credentialing body
Completion of the board-approved refresher course
15 CEU hours and either being the principal on a nursing investigation or authoring/co-authoring a nursing article for a peer-reviewed journal
Completion of two semesters of courses from an accredited higher education institution
15 CEU hours and developing a nursing education resource or presentation
For more information on these requirements and what’s needed for license renewal, visit the North Carolina Board of Nursing website.
On the state board’s website, you also find a list of CEU providers. Many national organizations, such as AACN, are on the list of approved providers. State and local organizations, such as the North Carolina Nursing Association, also made the cut.
When enrolling in courses and seminars from these providers, make sure any program meets the CEU requirements. If they are under 30 minutes in length, designed for a layperson, or included in on-the-job training, they don’t count, even if they are hosted by an approved CEU provider.
5 Amazing Free Nursing CEUs
When deciding what CEU to take, two factors come to mind for most nurses: subject matter and cost. You want a program that provides in-depth knowledge that is applicable to your job while also ensuring the program doesn’t break the bank.
Here are 5 of our favorite free nursing CEUs that can be applied in many nursing workplaces:
Not Your Grandma’s Stroke: Recognizing Stroke Signs in Young Adults from AACN
Resilience: A Key to Safe Nursing Practices from the North Carolina Board of Nursing
Lead for Care through the HireMe Healthcare app
Bullying in Healthcare: What Every Nurse Should Know from the North Carolina Nurses Association
Maintaining Professional Boundaries in Nursing from the North Carolina Board of Nursing
Lead for Care: the newest free CEU
Lead For Care, our in-app program to cultivate resilience in nurses, has recently been approved for full ANCC Accreditation in Nursing Continuing Professional Development (NCPD). This course discusses how to build resilience and better deal with the struggles and pain points specific to nursing.
Along with providing tips, it also leaves space for nurses to journal and reflect on their experiences. In this way, it’s interactive and directly relatable to all North Carolina nurses. Download our app today to utilize this free CEU.
Please note: there are a limited number of slots available, so grab your spot today! You must begin the course on or after June 1st, 2023 to be eligible.
As you continue in your career, you also want to make sure the pay reflects your investment in educational development. Check out our state of salaries report to see if your pay is on par with other nurses in North Carolina.