Continuing Education FAQs
Most of the questions regarding continuing education have to do with specific discrepancies on pre-approval of credits or the type of credits approved – CEU versus CME. These questions are fairly straight forward to answer for the naturopathic profession. While answers to questions of approval for other professions – chiropractors, nurses, acupuncturists, and MDs – largely depend on whether those professional boards recognize the ND license as an valid and accredited license in that state, or within that profession. For the MD profession, courses given by a licensed naturopath may be denied for CE simply because the presenter was a naturopath – in fact, this is how the continuing education requirements for MDs read.
- ALL NDNR COURSES ARE PRESENTED AND FACILITATED BY LICENSED NATUROPATHIC PHYSICIANS AT A DOCTORAL LEVEL AND INTENDED TO BE SPECIFICALLY RELEVANT TO THE CLINICAL PRACTICE OF NATUROPATHY.
- ALL NDNR COURSES HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION APPROVAL THROUGH THE OREGON BOARD OF NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE (OBNM) AS WELL AS THE COLLEGE OF NATUROPATHS OF ONTARIO.
- THE COURSES PROVIDED THROUGH NDNR MEET THE CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS OF MOST OF THE NATUROPATHIC REGULATORY BOARDS. IT IS STILL THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE INDIVIDUAL PRACTITIONER TO KNOW THEIR BOARD’S LAWS AND TO INQUIRE WITH SAID BOARD IF THERE IS A DOUBT, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE LICENSED IN ANOTHER PROFESSION.
DO I HAVE TO GET MY CE CREDITS PRE-APPROVED?
No! Yes! – It depends on what state you are licensed in. But first, keep in mind, if you are practicing in an unlicensed state (naturopaths), you don’t need to prove your continuing education. It may be a good idea to log your credits from the courses you take over the years, just in case you end up moving to a licensed state, or your state becomes licensed.
Many states don’t have a pre-approval process of their own, and have statements such as this, from New Hampshire’s regulatory law:
“For the purposes of this section an “approved continuing naturopathic medical education program” means a program designed to continue the education of the licensee in current developments, skills, procedures, or treatment in the licensee’s field of practice, which has been certified by a national or state naturopathic medical society or college or university and approved by the board”
This allows for courses to be taken for continuing education if they have been approved by another regulatory body, a process called “reciprocity. For our purposes here reciprocity means that a board will acknowledge another state or professional regulatory organization (such as a college or association) previous approval of a continuing education course.
- Alaska is the only licensed state that doesn’t mandate continuing education.
- Colorado – Does not provide pre-approval. Though, all courses taken through NDNR should meet requirements for Professional Development Activities (PDAs) if the course is relevant to your specific learning plan and goals. Montana – Does not provide pre-approval. Though, all courses taken through NDNR should meet CE requirements, as long as the course content falls within your scope of practice.
DOES MY BOARD HONOR CE CREDITS APPROVED FROM OBNM or CONO?
The Oregon Board of Naturopathic Medicine (OBNM) does the entire naturopathic profession a great service by pre-approving of continuing education (CE) courses at no charge. The College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO) also does this. The application process involves submitting course documents, presenter CVs, as well as an OBNM specific application. Most licensed states recognize CE approved by the OBNM through a process referred to as “reciprocity.” Below is a list of all the states and provinces that recognize CE credits through reciprocity:
- New Hampshire
- District of Columbia
- North Dakota
DO THESE CE CREDITS COUNT AS CME CREDITS?
Yes, if the course meets the requirements of the regulating body, then yes, continuing education (CE) is simply a more general term for continuing medical education (CME). All NDNR courses should meet requirements for CME, if they meet requirements of the regulatory body in question.
DO MY CE CREDITS COUNT IN CANADA?
Naturopathy is one of the few professions that shares licensing exams across the United States and Canada. Because of this, the reciprocity from the OBNM should suffice for most provinces, except Ontario, to which NDNR also submits longer multi-week courses for pre-approval.
However, note that the continuing education requirements in Canada are slightly different than in the United States.
- Ontario – Even if a course is not pre-approved for Category A units through CONO, the courses through
- Manitoba – Honors reciprocity. Courses through NDNR should meet the requirements for Category B units.
- Saskatchewan – Honors reciprocity through CONO, though may not need approval for Category C units. Categories D-E may be eligible depending on course material and professional goals. See provincial regulations for more details.
- Alberta – Does not provide pre-approval for continued competence hours. Courses through NDNR should meet requirements for these hours provided they the course material falls within your scope of practice.
- British Columbia – All NDNR courses should meet the requirements for Category C hours and some may meet Category F (prescriptive authority) hours.
DO MY CE CREDITS COUNT FOR ANY OTHER PROFESSIONS?
Probably, though this is a question that must be taken on an individual basis per state and regulatory body involved.
- Chiropractors – Regulated by state, each state having different requirements. However, many states do not pre-approve CE, and simply “deny” CE that falls outside of the requirements of the board. If NDs are licensed in your state, it is likely that all NDNR courses will fulfill CE/CME requirements. Please verify with regulatory board.
- Acupuncturists – It is an expensive process to get pre-approval through the NCCAOM, and it is unknown at this time how many acupuncturists are interested in completing courses through NDNR for CE. Also, it appears that not all acupuncture boards require CE. If NDs are licensed in your state, it is likely that NDNR courses will fulfill CE/CME requirements if the course content is within your scope of practice. Please verify with regulatory board.
- Nurses – Regulated by state, each state having different requirements. Some states don’t even require that nurses complete CE, and others have a patient contact requirement as the CE requirement. Check with your regulatory board.