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FAQs for Nurse Practitioner and CNS Renewal

FAQs on Renewal Application Pharmacotherapeutic* Contact Hour Requirements for NPs and CNSs

Information for certification renewals by ANCC Certified Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) and Nurse Practitioners (NP) – effective January 1, 2014:
  1. 25 of the 75 required contact hours must be in pharmacotherapeutics.  Important note: If you double category 1, there is NO requirement to double the number of pharmacotherapeutic hours.
  2. These 25 pharmacotherapeutic hours do not need to be formally ANCC accredited/approved, provided the certified nurse meets the requirements for Category 1 contact hours.  (That requirement is: at least 51% of the total number of contact hours must be in your certification role and specialty and at least 50% must be formally ANCC accredited/approved.)
  3. If an educational program includes pharmacy content, please refer to equivalency table below to determine the number of pharmacotherapeutic hours that could be counted towards re-certification.

    1 contact hour = 60 minutes                   
    1 contact hour = 0.1 CEU
    1 CEU = 10 contact hours                     
    1 academic semester credit = 15 contact hours
    1 academic quarter credit = 12.5 contact hours
    1 CME = 60 minutes or 1 contact hour
  4. The educational presentation or conference agenda may be submitted as evidence to validate the contact hour calculation. A narrative note describing pharmacology content within agenda may also be necessary to validate content. Keep for your records and submit only if audited.
  5. The same hours submitted to renew certification may be submitted to a State Board of Nursing for re-licensure.
  6. Pharmacotherapeutic content does not need to be presented by a nurse for the hours to be eligible for certification renewal, however the presenter must have content expertise in pharmacology.

Providers

  1. If a provider is developing content to meet the ANCC pharmacotherapeutic hour requirement, content must specifically address pharmacotherapeutics.
  2. Pharmacotherapeutic content does not need to be presented by a nurse for the hours to be eligible for certification renewal however the presenter must have content expertise in pharmacology.
  3. When developing the content for an educational activity, it is recommended that the provider delineate the number of pharmacotherapeutic contact hours.
  4. Existing continuing education courses/programs that include pharmacotherapeutic content may be reviewed to calculate the appropriate number of pharmacotherapeutic contact hours.
  5. We recommend that the pharmacotherapeutic contact hours contained within a presentation be calculated when a speaker develops content for an educational activity.

*Pharmacotherapeutic content may include but is not limited to drug specific information, safe prescribing practices, safe medication administration, prescribing methodologies, new regulations or similar content.