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Maintain your certification

Documenting CE & specialty codes

What time frame do I have to earn my CE?

CORE Maintenance Time Frames to earn ce

Only CE earned after taking the specialty assessment can be used to maintain certification. It must meet the CE needed in the educational plan and have been earned during your current three year period of certification.

The specialty assessment is used to develop each individualized educational plan. Once the educational plan is developed CE can be earned to meet the educational needs. Only CE earned after the specialty assessment and within the three year maintenance cycle can be used to maintain.

Your specific dates are in your maintenance application.  An individual may open and close their online application, tracking completed and needed CE activities as earned.

Maintenance cycles are three years.  CE can be earned from the time the specialty assessment is taken to the individual's maintenance due date.  If you take the assessment early, before your cycle starts, the first day you can earn CE to apply to your maintenance is the first day of your new maintenance cycle.

Maintenance due dates will now be on the 15th of the month instead of the end of the month.  This is effective January 1, 2016.  Maintenance due dates will fall on one of the below quarterly due dates for all those certified, including the RNC-E. The month you are due will not change but the date you are due will now be on the 15th of the month. 

March 15th
June 15th
September 15th
December 15th

CE Time Frames for Legacy and Subspecialty Maintenance

Continuing Education must be earned during your current three year period of holding your credential.


Due March 15, 2017 Use credit earned during 4/1/14 to 3/15/17
Due June 15, 2017 Use credit earned during 7/1/14 to 6/15/17
Due September 15, 2017 Use credit earned during 10/1/14 to 9/15/17
Due December 15, 2017 Use credit earned during 1/1/15 to 12/15/17


Due March 15, 2018 Use credit earned during 4/1/15 to 3/15/18 
Due June 15, 2018 Use credit earned during 7/1/15 to 6/15/18 
Due September 15, 2018 Use credit earned during 10/1/15 to 9/15/18
Due December 15, 2018 Use credit earned during 1/1/16 to 12/15/18

Is My CE Acceptable?  (Browse keywords)

  • For core certifications:  The amount and nature of the CE required to maintain is specified on the education plan that you will receive after taking Specialty Assessment.
  • For Core Legacy certifications:  for certifications no longer offered by NCC
    The requirement is 45 CE hours in your certification specialty.
  • For subspecialty certifications:
    The requirement is 15 CE hours in your subspecialty area.

Acceptable CE for maintenance reflects the content tested on certification examinations.  The maintenance  process is determining if you have maintained those same core competencies over time. To determine if the CE you have earned or planned to take is acceptable for maintenance, the Is My CE Acceptable link provides information on the nature of the core competencies and topics that are associated with each competency.

Is My CE Acceptable (browse key) link -below  This provides a list of the core competencies and key word topics associated for each certification specialty.  The core competencies are broad and comprehensive and keywords are not exhaustive so you need to use your own judgment in determining applicability.  This process has not changed from previous years.  The change that has occurred is the categories are now aligned with the continuing competency assessment core competencies but the content that is acceptable has not changed.

Check if your CE is acceptable

What are the Specialty Codes for My For CE Activities?

The Is My CE Acceptable link will also provide you with the specialty codes for all applicable content.
In addition, there is a coding brochure for each core certification specialty that outlines the codes, core competencies and appropriate CE for each.  For access to the brochures, select the following link:  Go to Specialty Coding Brochures

How do I list my CE activities?

All CE must be entered in your online maintenance application. Select the Add/track or submit your CE link on the home page to access. You will have to list each continuing education activity earned.  All CE must be accredited by agency recognized by NCC.

Special Considerations

  • Courses that are mixed content or cover wide variance of populations – how are hours counted? Mixed population focused activities: For example, If a physical exam course is taken that is neonatal and pediatric focused, only the hours for neonatal content could be used for maintenance of the NNP certification. The number of hours in the CE activity would have to be estimated that were devoted to neonatal content.
  • Activities that covered multiple core competencies but assign only total hours - You will have to estimate the hours for each code. For example if the program covered 3 codes and was worth 12 hours, you can assign 4 hours for each code or you can estimate the time for each code by assessing the amount of  time devoted to the content related to any individual code. The estimate cannot to exceed the total hours. You would list the program 3 times and assign the different code to each entry.
  • Program/activities that cover multiple core competencies that are identified by the CE provider - list the activity for each core competency area covered and list the corresponding specialty code.  The hours assigned to each core competency cannot exceed the total hours awarded for the activity or program. For example if the activity was 5 hours and 3 hours were assigned to pharmacology and 2 hours to pathophysiology, you would list the activities twice and assigned 3 hours to pharmacology with the first entry and 2 hours to pathophysiology to the second entry.
  • Generic courses, for example, hypertension, -- the course has to relate to the population focus of the certification area. So hypertension in pregnancy could not be used to maintain neonatal certifications but would be acceptable for maintaining WHNP certification.
  • Specialty focused conventions like AWHONN or NANN, use the specialty code that represents the specialty area of most of the presentations attended or if specific specialty content is needed, record only the sessions/presentations that are associated with that the code and the corresponding hours.
  • Universal Hours - Universal hours are no longer applicable, as they have been incorporated into the existing competencies.  For Legacy core certifications, they are still used.
  • Activities other than CE  Being an author, a CE presenter or preceptor can be applied for maintenance. There are limits to the number of hours that they can be assigned - view the maintenance catalog for details but these hours can only apply if you have baseline hours in your education plan.   These are hours that can be assigned to any core competency area and show at the bottom of your plan.  These types of hours cannot be applied for subspecialty certificates such as EFM or NPT.


CE Program
Program/activity: 2015 AWHONN Annual Convention- Labor and Delivery content - 3 sessions
Date of program: 6/18/2015 (list the date when you were awarded CE.)
Number of hours: 4.5 hours
Sponsoring/accrediting organization: ANCC
Specialty code:  Code 2

Or you can list each session separately if you need are going to assign each session to a different code.

Academic credit

Program/activity: Course 301 Pathophysiology of the Newborn
Date of program: 9/30/14 (list the date you finished the program)
Number of hours: List in CE hours, see conversion formulas in the maintenance catalogs
Sponsoring/accrediting organization: University of Chicago
Specialty code that matches content of the course: Code varies
(All content must be related to your certification specialty according to core competency addressed in the course content)

NCC CE Modules
NCC CE module users will have their CE information automatically posted and coded to their online maintenance application upon successfully completion. Please note that you cannot change the code on the CE modules and you cannot use a module for maintenance that is not coded in your specialty.

Preceptorship Hours
Program/activity: Preceptor of WHNP students for University of Massachusetts clinical rotation in obstetrics
Date of program: 12/31/14 (list the date when you finished precepting.)
Number of hours: maximum that can be used is 10 hours
Sponsoring/accrediting organization: University of Massachusetts
Specialty code that matches preceptorship: Code 24

Presenter of CE
Program/activity: Managing Shoulder Dystocia
Date of program: 5/10/15
Number of hours: Same numbers as awarding to participants
Sponsoring/accrediting organization: AWHONN
Specialty code that matches presenter of CE: Code 24

For an author
Program/activity: Chapter 12 on Oral Contraceptives in Comprehensive Gyn
Date of program: 3/31/15 (list the date the work was published)
Number of hours: maximum that can be used is 10 hours
Sponsoring/accrediting organization: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins
Specialty code that matches the author option: Code 25


  • Preapproval is optional and should be used if you want NCC to specialty code your CE activities. 
  • This is not the maintenance application. 
  • You will have to additionally file your maintenance application and you will be able to import any preapproved activities into your online maintenance application and pay your maintenance fee once your application is complete.
  • An import button will be available to you at your online maintenance application. 
  • If you would like NCC to approve your maintenance activities in advance, you can request preapproval by clicking the link in the box on the right or the link below.
  • Preapproval is optional. 
  • The cost is a non-refundable $25 fee. 

Go to Preapproval Application