Nursing Continuing Professional Development Contact Hours

Terminology update: Per American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) guidelines, what were formerly referred to as continuing nursing education contact hours are now nursing continuing professional development contact hours.

What does this mean to me?

This is the same quality continuing nursing education we have always provided - just a change in terminology! These contact hours are valid to meet eligibility requirements for certification, re-certification, licensure, etc.

1.0 contact hours is equal to 60 minutes of educational content (ANCC measures in minutes but awards in contact hours)

As a nurse, lifelong learning is an integral part of meeting your professional practice standards. Standard 8, Education in the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice outlines what this means: "The psychiatric-mental health registered nurse...Seeks experiences and formal and independent learning activities, to maintain and develop clinical and professional skills and knowledge." For more on competencies see page 68-69.


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Benefits of nursing continuing professional development:
(More than accumulating hours for licensure, certification and re-certification) 

  • Education provided by vetted experts that has been reviewed by nurse educators for evidence-base, quality, and appropriateness. 
  • Conflicts of interest are always disclosed so that you can make a judgement call on the content. This means you don’t need to be concerned about misinformation or wasting your time on poor quality content.
  • Accredited education supports:

    Quality of content
    Nurse retention
    Measurable outcomes
    ROI – (cost savings; recruitment/retention; workforce diversity)
    Alignment with APNA strategic goals

More good news...

Changing the terminology from continuing nursing education to nursing continuing professional development:

  • Broadens scope from continuing education to professional development
  • Implies change from ongoing/continuing to growth
  • Includes areas not previously emphasized like finance, wellness and policy
 APNA offers many upcoming learning opportunities for Nursing Continuing Professional Development. (Hint - some are FREE!)
AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC NURSES ASSOCIATION and APNA-Logoare registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as trademarks of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.
The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.