Understanding the Kentucky Board of Nursing License Renewal Process

Kentucky Board of Nursing License Renewal Process

Hey Kentucky nurses, it’s that time of year again! All Kentucky nursing licenses need to be renewed annually between September 15th and October 31st, and that means navigating the Kentucky Board of Nursing license renewal process. 

We all know how busy this time of year is. Kids are back in school, the holidays are bearing down on us fast, and the end of October will be here before we know it. Thankfully, the Kentucky Board of Nursing makes it pretty easy to renew for another year and continue doing your great work. The biggest part is fulfilling your continuing education requirements, and fortunately it can all be done online. So, if you’ve been procrastinating, there’s still plenty of time to get everything completed quickly and conveniently!

Step 1: Fulfill your CE Requirements

Kentucky, like many states in the U.S., has made professional development through coursework the top priority when it comes to helping their nurses stay up to date with current best practices. With a number of options, you’ll easily be staying current with the latest advancements in nursing and setting yourself up for a smooth renewal.

For RNs and LPNs

Kentucky offers a lot of options for meeting its CE requirements, and all nurses must do ONE of the following:

  • Complete 14 hours of designated nursing education.
  • Complete 7 hours of nursing education and receive a satisfactory employment evaluation signed by your supervisor.
  • Obtain national certification or recertification related to your nursing practice role.
  • Finish a post-licensure academic course relevant to nursing practice at a college, university, or postsecondary institution.
  • Serve as a preceptor for at least one nursing student or new employee for a minimum of 120 hours.
  • Publish an article in a peer-reviewed, health-related journal.
  • Provide a nursing continuing education presentation for nurses or other health professionals. The number of contact hours earned shall be twice the number of contact hours offered to presentation attendees.
  • Complete a nursing research project as a principal investigator, co-investigator, or project director.


APRNs may also need to complete 14 hours of continuing education, but the requirement can be satisfied by obtaining your board certification for the first time or renewing your board certification during the same licensure period. If neither of these apply, you’ll need to complete the 14 hours.

APRNs will also need at least 5 hours of pharmacology continuing education every licensing period, and if you hold extra certifications, such as CAPA-CS and DEA-X, additional educational requirements are required.

All Kentucky Nurses

All Kentucky nurses must also complete 2 contact hours in suicide prevention, 1.5 hours in pediatric abusive head trauma, and 3 hours in domestic violence training within three years of receiving a Kentucky nursing license. These are one-time requirements, so if you’ve already completed them in the past, you’re done.

For all nurses, CE must have been completed between November 1st (of the previous year) and October 31st of the active licensure period, reported to a CE broker for authentication, and attested on the license renewal application. It’s important to keep track of completed education with proof of attendance as nurses will be selected at random for CE audit. 

Step 2: Register CE Completion with CE Broker

The Kentucky Board of Nursing requires all continuing education credits to be submitted to a broker who certifies the course material meets standards and tracks an applicant’s status. CE Broker is the official CE tracking system for the state of Kentucky, and all nursing license credits need to be uploaded to their digital database. 

Nurses can create a free basic account that allows for manual uploading, data storage, renewal notifications, and allows users to track multiple licenses. It takes some time and effort to upload all 14 hours of required coursework as well as any mandatory training, but fortunately, a few online CE organizations feature automatic registration so you never have to worry about clerical errors affecting your Kentucky Board of Nursing license renewal process. 

Step 3: Submit Your Application

To access the renewal application you need to create a Kentucky Board of Nursing Nurse Portal account if you haven’t done so already. After the account has been created, simply complete all the required information and pay the fee.

​For those using the portal for the first time, you will be asked to declare your primary state of residence (PSOR) and upload supporting documentation. If you’ve recently changed your PSOR, you will also be asked to upload documentation which will need to include one of the following:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • State‐issued ID card
  • Voter registration
  • Vehicle registration

When it comes to the application fee, renewing as an RN will cost you $65, and renewing as an APRN will cost you $55 for each professional designation.

You might be wondering if you need to renew in the same year you received your initial license, and the answer is it depends on when you got your initial license.  For a license issued after May 1st, 2023, you will not have to renew until October 2024. For anyone having received their license before May 1st of 2023, you will need to renew in October of 2023.

DEA Requirement

On top of Kentucky’s CE requirements, there’s also the DEA's new controlled substance continuing education requirements. The DEA’s June 2023 opioid continuing education requirement is a one-time process and needs to include a minimum of 8 hours of education in any combination of a variety of formats such as online coursework, in-person lectures, or even professional organization or society meetings.

They do not need to be completed in one format, and can be accrued over time as long as it is done before your next DEA license initial or renewal application. Also, past training you may have attended on the treatment and management of patients with opioid or other substance use disorders may be valid. As long as the training was offered by an accredited provider of continuing education, you can count that towards your total of 8 hours of opioid continuing education.

What Happens if I Miss the Deadline?

Every year, some nurses miss the deadline, and while it can be frustrating it’s not the end of the world. Missing the renewal deadline will immediately result in a lapse in licensure, which also means you can’t actively be practicing as a nurse during that time.

To renew, you’ll have to complete all the normal requirements, plus pay a renewal fee of $135. So, the moral of the story is, don’t let the deadline pass! Completing your CE requirements can all be done online these days, and a good provider will even package everything you need into one easy bundle and take care of all your reporting with the CE broker automatically. If you haven’t started, get moving!

Renew Your Kentucky License Quicker Than the Next Derby Winner

The Kentucky Board of Nursing license renewal process is all about staying ahead and working on those continuing education requirements sooner rather than later.  There are tremendous benefits to online continuing education and with Premiere, you can check all the boxes without having to stress over the details. 

Premiere makes renewing your Kentucky license incredibly easy, with a comprehensive Kentucky LPN/RN License Renewal Package and DEA Controlled Substance Training that delivers all the content you need online and automatically handles reporting so you can focus on improving your skills. And as requirements change over time and you consider specialization to advance your career, Premiere’s Unlimited Nursing CEU Subscription ensures that you’ll always have all the content you need right at your fingertips. 

Don’t wait until October 31 to start your Kentucky license renewal process!


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