Nurse Practitioner Continuing Education Resources – CE Opportunities

The nurse practitioner (NP) role is built on the bedrock of a robust education, and that education doesn’t stop after graduation. Continuing education (CE) ensures NPs are keeping up-to-date on the most current, evidence-based advances in their practice area. It’s also a professional necessity: NPs must complete a certain number of approved continuing education units (CEUs) or contact hours (CH) within a particular period to earn, maintain, and renew their licensure and certification. 

Continuing education can be done in person, online, or at conferences. Within those categories, continuing education can take many different forms: reading journal articles, contributing to newsletters, and even listening to particular podcasts can all count towards an NP’s continuing education requirements. However, since continuing education is tied to licensure and certification, there are strict boundaries between what does and what does not count. Just as university education needs to be accredited, continuing education modules must be recognized, approved, and/or accredited by the relevant licensing and certifying bodies.

Official professional organizations are the most reliable places to seek out continuing education. In addition to being certain that the CE you accrue counts towards the renewal or attainment of certifications and licenses, you can also often use these associations’ learning platforms to store, track, and update your continuing education information. 

However, these professional associations aren’t the only providers of genuine continuing education opportunities: some organizations like the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) approve and accredit (without necessarily endorsing), several other continuing education vendors; some NPs may choose to pursue CE through these third parties to find something either geographically close or specifically relevant to their specialty. 

Continuing education requirements depend on an NP’s role, specialty, certification, and licensure. Generally speaking, NPs certified by the AANP will need to complete 100 CH of continuing education every five years, while those certified by the ANCC will need to complete 75 CH of continuing education over the same timeframe. However, every NP should check with their state board of nursing and the issuers of any specialty certificates they hold to verify their own individual requirements. 

Read on to learn about the most authoritative continuing education resources for NPs.

General Continuing Education for NPs

American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)

AANP’s comprehensive continuing education program includes hundreds of hours of online and live content developed by subject matter experts. Members of AANP receive extra benefits, too: these include access to the CE Center, which includes a library of CE activities for all NP specialties and discounts on those activities. 

AANP also offers members a portfolio management tool that tracks and organizes all their CE credits. Even non-members can find a wealth of information here, including a comprehensive library of live and online CE opportunities approved by AANP.

American Nurses Association (ANA)

The ANA supports all nurses, including advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), through their training and career. ANA’s continuing education resources include webinars and online courses on various topics; a suite of pharmacology courses is targeted specifically at APRNs. Note that ANA is also the parent organization of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), an accreditation body that approves continuing nursing education.

Advanced Practice Education Associates (APEA)

APEA is approved by AANP to provide continuing education to NPs. Their CE Library is searchable by topic, format, price, and number of contact hours. Through APEA, NPs can find podcasts, videos, articles, and a few unique formats for its CE offerings. Subscribing to CareOnPoint, a diagnostic assistant application designed by and for NPs, earns 158 continuing education contact hours. 

Fitzgerald Health Education Associates (FHEA)

Founded by an NP, FHEA has a 32-year history of providing NPs with in-depth continuing education that matches their clinical skill sets and certifications. FHEA also offers extensive continuing education in pharmacology, so NPs can maintain their certifications; free CE is available, too. NPs who use FHEA for their continuing education can also use their packaged CE, which bundles together learning modules based on specialty and need.


NetCE is accredited by the ANCC, as well as the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) to provide continuing education. NPs can browse NetCE’s content by state and by role to check against their specific continuing education requirements and opportunities. 

The NetCE website has a bare-bones user interface that’s a welcome relief from the clutter of other CE databases, and it gives users access to a surprisingly deep pool of courses that cover a wide range of different topics: from the use of botulinum toxin and dermal fillers for facial aging to methods of migraine diagnosis, to the psychedelic medicine and interventional psychiatry.

Nurse Practitioner Associates for Continuing Education (NPACE)

Accredited by ANCC, NPACE offers continuing education resources to NPs and other advanced practice clinicians. Recently, they’ve offered both in-person and virtual conferences; an in-person conference is scheduled for practically every month of 2023. They also provide a wide range of online courses, some of which are offered in bundles curated by topic (i.e. mental health, or infectious diseases, or pharmacology). 

Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation (NPHF)

NPHF is accredited by ANCC to provide continuing education to NPs. Offerings include courses on opioid education, chronic pain management, reproductive health, and more. NPHF also maintains a partnership with Derm for Primary Care, a digital learning platform that helps primary care providers identify, diagnose, and treat common skin conditions that are routinely present in a primary care practice; NPs can experiment with the platform in some of NPHF’s continuing education courses.

Adult-Gerontology Continuing Education for NPs

Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association (GAPNA)

GAPNA offers both real-time and asynchronous continuing education opportunities for NPs specializing in adult-gerontology. Their mix of conferences and webinars provide in-person and online learning experiences. GAPNA’s annual and pharmacology conferences are two major opportunities, and they can either be attended live or accessed from GAPNA’s digital library

Adult-gerontology NPs can also look to topic-focused packages to boost their skill sets in areas such as cardiovascular care, dementia, clinical concerns, pain management, pharmacology, professional considerations, and psychosocial issues.

Neonatal Continuing Education for NPs

National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN)

NANN hosts a suite of continuing education resources for neonatal nurses. While they are not specifically focused on NPs and APRNs, their CENow series covers key neonatal areas, with learning modules on neonatal blood gas analysis, necrotizing enterocolitis, extremely low birth weight infants, and antibiotic use in neonates. Members also have access to eight free CE modules, some of which include: caring for opioid-exposed dyads in neonatal care; neonatal skin care in the NICU; sleep safety in the NICU; and supporting auditory development in premature and high-risk infants. These and other certified CE offerings are available in NANN’s online store.

Pediatric Continuing Education for NPs

National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP)

NAPNAP has the most expert-developed, evidence-based continuing education for pediatric NPs. Their online tool for continuing education is PedsCESM, which helps NPs gain valuable knowledge and meet their state licensure requirements. 

Pediatric NPs will find a wide range of continuing education opportunities, covering categories such as acute care, infectious diseases, mental health, pharmacology, primary care, professional issues, and psychopharmacology. NAPNAP members are eligible for free and/or discounted courses. Notably, NAPNAP also offers a series of podcasts, called Teampeds Talks, that count as CE contact hours.

Psychiatric-Mental Health Continuing Education for NPs

American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA)

APNA offers ANCC-accredited continuing education for psychiatric-mental health nurses and NPs. The APNA eLearning Center offers hundreds of CE opportunities that are specifically applicable to NPs and other APRNs; some are free to members, and some are free to all. 

Common topics for CE include substance abuse disorder; suicide prevention; pharmacological interventions; and telemental health. APNA also hosts an annual and pharmacology conferences, each of which includes numerous CE opportunities.

Midwifery Continuing Education for NPs

American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM)

As the flagship association for certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs), ACNM hosts several CE options related to midwifery. The ACNM Learning Management System (LMS) hosts content designed by and for midwives, available asynchronously to all members. 

ACNM also provides learning content through its smart webinars, each of which typically includes 45 minutes of presentation and 15 minutes of Q&A. Webinar topics in 2022 include pelvic health physical therapy in preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum; anti-oppression in midwifery research and practice; and intrapartum guidelines for midwives.

Women’s Health Continuing Education for NPs

Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH)

NPWH is the premier professional organization for women’s health NPs and hosts a wide range of CE opportunities. The NPWH Online Education Center acts as a repository for CE options in the form of journal articles, webinars, newsletters, and recorded conference sessions. Learning topics include: embracing gender-diverse populations and understanding their medical care; addressing fat stigma in women’s health; military healthcare for women; and reducing health disparities by addressing environmental exposures.

Matt Zbrog

Matt Zbrog


Matt Zbrog is a writer and researcher from Southern California currently living in Berlin. He believes a strong society demands a stronger support network for healthcare and nursing professionals. Since early 2018, he’s written extensively and interviewed experts about emerging topics in the nursing field. Drawing upon his source with healthcare leaders, professors, nurse practitioners, advocacy groups, and others, his writing and research focus on learning from those who know the subject best.