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.