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Maintain your certification

Other helpful information

Frequently asked questions

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Maintenance due dates

I don't know my maintenance due date. How can I find that out?

Sign in or create an account. This will take you to your account page. You will find all of your contact information as well as your maintenance due date in your account.

Kinds of CE or activities that can be used for maintenance

How can I determine if the conference I attended is specialty content and meets maintenance specialty hour requirements?

All CE must related to your certification specialty area. Download a maintenance catalog or check if your CE is acceptable online

Under this section, a list of specialty topics per certification area is provided.

If the course dealt with any of the topics, it would count for maintenance. If not, it would not count.


Can academic credit be used for maintenance?

Academic credit can be used to maintain the NCC certification credential. The content of the course must be related to the certification specialty area.

  • 1 semester hour = 15 contact hours
  • 1 quarter hours = 10 contact hours

Be specific in listing course titles, ex. course 104 is not acceptable.

Remember content must relate to your specialty certification area.

I preceptor students, can I use this for maintenance?

Those who precept nursing or nurse practitioners students in their certification specialty area can earn 10 contact hours for this activity. You must precept students for at least one academic quarter, semester or entire clinical rotation if less than an academic quarter or semester. To earn the 10 hours, a letter from the sponsoring institution (on official letterhead and signed by the appropriate authorizing person) must be submitted indicating your responsibilities as preceptor and dates and hours of your preceptor time. If this time is less than 10 hours, this preceptorship time cannot be used for maintenance. This letter must be submitted with your maintenance application. 10 hours is the maximum that can be earned for this activity. (This letter is not needed if submitting online.) Precept hours can only be used for baseline hours, not hours designated in the education plan assigned to a specific competency area.  Baseline hours are listed as hours that are assigned to any competency area and appear at the bottom of your education plan.

I gave a presentation at a conference, how do I count that credit for maintenance?

Those who present continuing education programs can use the same amount of credit awarded to the participants attending the presentation to maintain their certification. This activity must be outside the individual certified nurse or NP's current job responsibilities and cannot be expectation of their current position. Programs presented must earn credit within NCC guidelines. Any given presentation of the same program can be used only once during an individual certification period, even if it is presented multiple times.

I went a conference that was 3 days long, but the online application only allows one date, how should I record this information

List the last day of the course, when the continuing education is awarded.

I went to a conference with many different specialty content, how do I assign a specialty code on the application?

Courses that are mixed content or cover wide variance of populations – how are hours counted? For example, If NNP certified and 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.

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 you can list each session separately depending on the CE you need to meet your education plan.

I went to conference that have some specialty content and some that was not, can I use this for maintenance?

Courses that are mixed content or cover wide variance of populations—how are hours counted? For example, If NNP certified and 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.

I wrote a journal article, can I use this for maintenance?

  • 10 contact hours will be awarded to those who have written a journal article or a chapter of a book.
  • 10 contact hours will be awarded to those who are a primary or secondary author of a book.
  • 10 contact hours will be awarded to those who serve as reviewers or writers of a NCC CE module or monograph.

Rules for using publications for maintenance

  • The publication date of the article/book/module will determine its applicability for your current certification maintenance.
  • You are limited to using one article, book authorship or service as an NCC Self Assessment reviewer or monograph author per certification maintenance cycle.
  • Articles/books must be related to the certification specialty area.
  • Proof of authorship can be established by including a copy of the title page of the article with the title of the article, your name as author and the publication date (not needed if submitted online).
  • For primary or secondary book authorship, pages from the book that identify the title, author and publication date must be submitted.
  • For NCC CE reviewers or monograph writers, a copy of your continuing education certificate issued by NCC indicating your reviewer/writer role must be submitted (not needed if submitting online).

How do I know the accreditation agency of the conference I attended is recognized by NCC?

Recognized accrediting agencies

  • NCC through the NCC Self Assessment Program or Pretest Program
  • State boards of nursing, departments of health or nursing associations
  • Hospitals
  • Any Nursing, Medical, Health Care or Other For Profit or Not for Profit Education Provider (These organizations could include for example - AWHONN, NANN, NPHW, ACOG, AMA, ANCC, NONPF, AANP, Contemporary Forums, Western schools, Professional Education Consultants, etc.)
  • Academic Credit 1 semester hour = 15 contact hours; 1 quarter hour = 10 contact hours
  • All other credits are a 1:1 ratio to contact hours, e.g. 1 CME = 1 contact hour.
  • All continuing education programs must be accredited and provide evidence of such in the form of a certificate of completion issued to participants

I put my RN license on inactive status. Is that a problem?

You must have a current unrestricted license in order to maintain. If your license is inactive, you cannot meet the maintenance requirements and your certification will lapse.

I am not currently employed. Can I maintain?

Yes, you can maintain. There are no employment requirements to maintain your certification.

Extensions or missed filing deadlines

I don't have enough CE to maintain, can I get an extension to file?

If you cannot earn enough continuing education credit or retake the examination prior to your expiration date, you can request a one time only three month extension for your core certification or subspecialty certification.

This request must be received before your expiration date and requires a $30 service fee. This extends only your time to file and does not change your next expiration date. This is a one time option only. There are no refunds for extension requests.

File an extension

I missed my maintenance filing due date. What can I do?

For those who missed the maintenance filing deadline, you can reinstate without retesting.

The reinstatement program allows individuals to come back into system without retesting up to one year following their original expiration date.

You must file an online reinstatement application and pay the reinstatement fee ($215 for core certifications, $145 for subspecialty certifications).

File a reinstatement application

Using NCC CE modules for maintenance

I completed NCC CE modules for maintenance but I got a notice that my certification lapsed—why?

Purchasing and completing NCC CE modules does not automatically maintain your certification.  In addition to earning CE either through NCC or other providers, you must file a maintenance application and pay a maintenance fee.

If you believe that your payment was made, please forward to copy of your cancelled check or credit card payment (or fax to 312-951-9475) showing payment. With this information, we can further investigate the matter.

Did not get the discount for using NCC CE modules when submitting maintenance online—what should I do?

Modules are automatically posted to your maintenance application when successfully completed.  You cannot manually enter them.  If they are not posted, it could be you used a module not with your core competency specialty areas.  Only module assigned with a code for your certifiication specialty and as specified by your education plan can be used.

What NCC CE modules count toward specialty hours for maintenance?

NCC modules are assigned codes and are noted in the module description.   You can only use a NCC module for maintenance that has a assigned specialty code for your certification specialty and specified by your education plan.

The NCC CE modules I completed don't show up on my account online maintenance application—why?

Online modules will have your certificate of completion in your account on the website. All online modules successfully completed will automatically appear on your online maintenance application and you won't have to enter the information manually.

Only modules wilth specialty codes related to your certification specialty and as specified by your education plan will appear in your online maintenance application.

Filling out the online maintenance application

Do I have to put in all my CE in the online maintenance at one time? Will my information be saved?

The website will save your entries as long as you don't submit your application.

The online application won't let me enter more than 45 contact hours. I have many more—why?

The online system goes to the payment page as soon as 45 hours of CE is recorded. 45 hours is the maximum needed so added entries are not needed for review. It will also save you time in completing your application.

I have put CE activities in my application but they are not counting into my education plan?

This is most likely that the activities is not in the time frame for your certification.  You can only use CE for core certifications (RNC or NP-BC credentials) that are earned after you have taken the assessment.

Multiple certifications

I have more than one certification—how do I file?

If you are maintaining more than one NCC certification and/or a subspecialty certificate, you must submit a separate application and fee for each certification/certificate. There is a separate application for maintaining subspecialty certificates. If applicable, you may use the same continuing education credit for multiple certifications. If you plan to maintain via re-examination, you need to take and pass all examinations prior to your maintenance due date.

Filing early

I want to file early. Can I?

You may file at any time up to one year prior to your maintenance due date. You do not have to wait until your specific maintenance due date to file. Two caveats apply to filing early:

  • The continuing education credit you submit must fall within the current range of your certification period. See the main core certification page for applicable dates.
  • Your next certification period will not change. You can't starting earning CE until your new maintenance cycle starts
  • For those who hold a core certification (RNC or NP-BC), you can take your CCI assessment for the next cycle up to 3 months prior to the start of your new certification cycle.  However, no CE can be earned prior to the start of your new maintenance cycle.


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NCC randomly selects for audit a percentage of credentialed professionals who are due to maintain their certification. All incomplete applications are automatically selected for audit. An audit requires the credentialed individual to submit copies of the certificates of continuing education being used for the purposes of maintenance. In addition the description of the CE offering may also be required. The notice of audit may come with your notice that your certification is due or you may be subject to an audit after you have submitted your certification maintenance application. If selected for audit and you fail to provide continuing education certificates or fail to meet the deadline to submit additional documentation that would complete your application, your certification will lapse.

Order maintenance cards or certificates

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Maintenance cards

A maintenance card is available for download under in your account. An official printed maintenance card is available for a fee of $35 which includes FedEx delivery. This can only be delivered to a street address—no PO Boxes or military addresses.

Complete a request form

Certificates—certification and CE modules

Need a duplicate certificate for your certification? There is a $10 fee.

Complete a request form

For those seeking a replacement for CE modules, please check your account and download it from there.

Need a receipt?

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If you need a receipt for any purchase made through the NCC website, view your order history. All of your purchases are kept together in an easy-to-access format for you to view or print at any time.

Receipts for initial certification exam fees will not be in your account and email to request a receipt.