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Continuing Education

Continuing Education Requirements

Continuing education and active nursing practice hours are now easier to maintain.

The Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission (NCQAC) has reduced education and active nursing practice hour requirements for active, inactive, expired, and retired-active nurse credentials, and changed the reporting period.

The changes started June 12, 2021.

Changes include:

Continuing education and active nursing practice hour renewals are now yearly. Active nursing practice continuing education hours changes to at least 8 hours a year.

For more information see the final rulemaking order WSR 21-11-032 filed on June 2, 2021. See WAC 246-840-210 for continuing competency definitions.

  • Active nursing practice hours changes to at least 96 hours a year.
  • Retired active nursing practice continuing education hours changes to at least 8 hours a year.
  • Retired active nursing practice hours changes to at least 24 hours a year (max of 90 days a year).

Please visit the Continuing Competency Requirements page for more information. 

Required Trainings 

Suicide Prevention Training for Health Professionals Model List

Beginning July 1, 2017, healthcare professionals required to complete a suicide prevention training must select a course from the Washington Model List. See the training requirements for health professional time and content requirements. We'll continue to add approved programs to this model list. Trainings must be reapproved every two years. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the reapproval of trainings has been delayed. Trainings can still be selected from the current Model List. All trainings will be checked for reapproval or removed by July of 2022.

The Department of Health is accepting applications for trainings to review for inclusion on the Model List of suicide training for health professionals. Only trainings that meet the minimum standards (PDF) will be included. See the program approval process for more information. The Department of Health will also be accepting applications for trainings seeking to fulfill the advanced standards requirements starting later in 2022. We will update this webpage with more information when it is available.

Starting July 2021, the following healthcare professions must take an advanced six-hour training for their second six-year continuing education requirement:

  • psychologists
  • marriage and family therapists
  • mental health counselors
  • advanced social workers
  • independent clinical social workers
  • social worker associates-advanced
  • social worker associates-independent

Please continue to take trainings off the regular Model List until advanced standards six-hour trainings are available.

Related links: Suicide Prevention Training Home | Training Requirements | Program Approval Process | Suicide Prevention Plan | Resources

Washington State Healthcare Professional Telemedicine Training

In 2020, Washington State passed SSB 6061 (Links to an external site.) and made telemedicine training mandatory for all licensed, registered, or certified healthcare professionals providing telemedicine services. Physicians and Osteopathic physicians are excluded from the mandate, however they are encouraged to complete such training.

This training meets the requirement outlined in Washington State law. Trainees are expected to maintain a Certificate of Completion for record keeping. Fulfillment of this telemedicine training requirement includes: completion of this training, 80% pass rate of the training test questions, and maintenance of records that includes the Certificate of Completion that will be awarded following this training.

NOTE: Healthcare providers do not need to complete this training if their institution or organization has their own internal telehealth training that meets the Washington Telehealth Alternative Training Guidelines.

This training was developed by the Washington State Telehealth Collaborative and the Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center. Please direct questions or comments to the Program Contact listed on the WA Telehealth Collaborative website (Links to an external site.).  A total of .75 CME credit hours is available upon course completion.

Please visit the Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center's website for more information. 

Enroll Now

Other Helpful Trainings 

Washington State Nursing Jurisprudence Module

Learn about nursing laws and regulations, and the Nursing Commision in Washington state.

This course is good for all nurses working in Washington state.

In this course, you will learn about:

  • Washington state nursing history, laws, and regulations.
  • The Nursing Commision (NCQAC) and our role in protecting public health and safety.
  • Specific functions of the Nursing Commission related to education, licensing, practice, and discipline. 
  • Alternatives to nurse discipline programs in Washington, including resources for substance use issues. 
  • How to apply the scope of practice decision tree in your practice.

Course information:
We developed this course with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).  

  • Online self-study
  • 2 hours of continuing education 

How to take the course:

You can take this course in 2 ways (choose only one): 

  • Through our (NCQAC) website for free (Option A)
  • Through NCSBN for a fee (Option B) (available through April 30, 2023)

Option A
NCQAC Washington State Nursing Jurisprudence Module

You can take this course for free on our website. 

Important notes:

  • If you need proof of completion, print the final page of the course showing completed. We don't have training records from the module and won't be able to provide you with any proof.
  • You must complete the course once you start it. It won't pick up where you left off. If you can't complete in one session, you must start over.

Take NCQAC Course:

Option B
NCSBN Washington State Nursing Jurisprudence Module (Nurse Practice Act - Washington)

You can take the course through National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)* for $15 fee until April 30, 2023. 

*You must register with NCSBN before purchasing the course. 

Take NCSBN course:

Interprofessional Team-Based Opioid Education

Course development
The trainings available through this project were developed initially as a collaboration among faculty at Washington State University (WSU). Initial development of the student-focused curriculum was supported by the Washington State Department of Health including funding from the Prevention for States (Pfs) Grant 5 NU17CE002734 through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Current funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (grant T0BHP33106) has allowed for continued expansion of this interprofessional curriculum. The contents of this curriculum are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.

Course information

The Interprofessional Team-based Opioid Education program provides educational materials for a team-based training program designed for health-professions students and/or primary care practice teams that care for patients with chronic pain who take and/or misuse opioids.
The training is available in two versions: one designed for implementation in an academic setting with another version designed for use in a primary care clinical setting. Both versions of the training consist of a two-hour (optional third hour) in-person, case-based simulation using standardized patients and/or video scenarios for training interprofessional teams of primary care providers/prescribers (PCP's), nurses, medical assistants, pharmacists, social workers and behavioral health professionals. The academic training consists of all components that an instructor would need to implement at their institution. The clinic training is an on-site interprofessional team training facilitated by a content expert from the WSU team.

What you need to know

If you are interested in accessing the academic training, you'll need to complete a brief registration form. You will receive an email with instructions about how to access the materials within approximately five business days.