Certification Renewal

For information regarding re-certification, please visit the Dermatology Nurse Practitioner Certification Board (DNPCB) website.

Visit DNPCB Website

CEU vs. CME – Everything You Need to Know to Re-Certify

Paula Bermann, DCNP MSN FNP-BC RN
DNPCB Immediate Past President

The DNPCB recognizes that there are different forms of continuing education credits.  These include Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Contact Hours.  To understand the difference between these, one must understand the foundation of the nursing role that forms our role as nursing professionals.  Dermatology nurse practitioners have a unique role in the delivery of care as compared to other health professionals.  We do not and should not practice as physicians nor physician assistants,but instead provide patient care in accordance with the nursing model.  Thus, our continuing education should reflect that foundation and the model it supports.

When an organization applies for accreditation for a particular continuing education program/lecture/article, it chooses whether to have the activity reviewed by a physician or PA panel, or by a panel of advanced practice nurses.  The physician/PA panel will accredit the activity with CME, if applicable, using the model and standards developed by their respective professions.  Or the organization may submit the activity for review by a panel of APRNs who have been educated under and understand the unique role we provide in caring for our patients.  Should the activity reflect the model under which we practice as well as meet the panel’s requirements, it is awarded Contact Hours.

It is because of these differences that the DNPCB requires at least 30 Contact Hours toward the 60 continuing education credits needed towards recertification under Category A.  We recognize that many programs offer both CME and Contact Hours which could lead DCNPs to believe that the accreditations are interchangeable.  However, when organizations offer both types of continuing education credits, it only means that the activity has been reviewed by several types of providers, including APRNs. 

It is our goal that DCNPs will continue to attend programs that are reviewed and accredited under our nursing model of care so that we may retain our unique role within the health care system.