What’s the difference between a continuing education unit (CEU) and a contact hour? Are they interchangeable?
Although many people use the term CEU, they are not the same as contact hours. Most of the state providers follow the contact hour calculation. In reality, it takes 10 contact hours to make a CEU, so one contact hour equals 0.1 CEU.
Can CNE contact hours apply to RNs, LPNs, and all types of nurses?
The activity is designed to address RNs. Educational Dimensions is approved by State Boards in California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia and West Virginia. The CE contact hours are also acceptable in the majority of other states having mandatory continuing education, however it is the responsibility of the individual professional to confirm.
What allied health personnel can use nursing contact hours?
Many allied health personnel are permitted to use nursing contact hours for recertification or relicensure. Educational Dimensions can research this for our partners and provide a definitive answer.
My state doesn’t require nurses to have CNE for relicensure. Do the CNE credits (contact hours) have any value to them?
Relicensure is only one use of CE contact hours. Some nurses have certification in a specialty like pediatrics, critical care, perioperative (operating room), emergency care, etc. They are required to recertify by examination or through continuing education.
Another consideration is that although the state may not require CNE for basic relicensure, they may require it for the advanced practice nurse (nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist). The only way to find out this little detail is to research the state regulations.
Finally, we need to recognize that if the program has CNE credit awarded, it has gone through a planning process by continuing education providers. This is like a “stamp of approval” indicating that content is appropriate, learner objectives are established, time frame and learning methodologies are appropriate and the speaker is qualified. So, even if CNE credit is not needed, an astute nurse will know that CNE is a worthwhile learning activity.
Why are license numbers or social security numbers required on the registration form? Does it matter which one is provided?
When nurses and other allied health personnel apply their contact hours to relicensure or recertification, the body overseeing this process makes the rules about which number should be used. Nurse participants can provide guidance on this, but unless otherwise indicated, Educational Dimensions uses the RN license number. When auditing licensees, most organizations use the license number to track RNs. Florida uses an electronic tracking system requiring entry of the license number only.
Participants are concerned about security of license and social security numbers. Faculty members are aware of confidentiality and security issues surrounding the registration form and keep the information safe. At the provider’s end, we follow stringent security guidelines to protect participant information. Name lists are not distributed or sold.
When will nurses receive their certificates?
The Boards require certificate issue within 90 days. We are well within that timeframe. If all information is complete and legible, average time for certificate return is two-three weeks following submission of completed evaluations and the registration form. Original documents (not faxed or reproduced copies) are required.
Is a post-test necessary for CNE?
A post-test is not a requirement for faculty-presented CNE.
Why are evaluations necessary for CE?
Evaluations are required for CNE and their content is dictated by the approving body. They want every assurance that the end user (the participant) receives the best educational experience.
Speakers review the evaluations before submitting to Educational Dimensions. Participant feedback can be very helpful in identifying opportunities to improve a presentation.
Can contact hours be issued retroactively?
Contact hours cannot be issued retroactively. Programs must be credentialed before contact hours can be awarded.
Can two or more programs be combined for more contact hours?
Yes, as long as the content delivered in the combined programs is the same as in the two single programs and the participants meet the learner objectives.