Guide: Continuing Education for Physical Therapists: Requirements, Courses, and More

CMEList July 17, 2019

Most Physical Therapists (PTs) are required to participate in continuing education activities to maintain their license to practice. In addition to maintaining their physical therapy license, physical therapy CME activities including online courses and PT CE conferences will help Physical Therapists broaden their knowledge around key PT topics and ensure that they are staying up to date with the latest advances and changes in the field of physical therapy. By participating in continuing education PTs will be able to treat their patients better because they will be better versed in the latest treatment techniques and strategies.

Check out the frequently asked questions physical therapists have about continuing education and meeting their requirements below.

How do I Maintain My Physical Therapist License?

Physical Therapists can maintain their Physical Therapist license by participating in various continuing education activities. Various activities physical therapists can participate in to earn continuing education hours include:

  • Online CE courses with free gift cards
  • Live Physical Therapy CE Seminars and Conferences
  • Free Physical Therapy courses

While there are many options Physical Therapists have to maintain their license, it is important to do thorough research when selecting a CE activity and making sure it will help you meet all your requirements and includes content bridges your knowledge gap regarding information critical to providing the best treatment and insight to your patients.

How Many Continuing Education Credits do Physical Therapists Need to Earn to Maintain Their License?

Physical Therapists are required to earn a specific number of continuing education credits within a specific timeframe dependant on what state they are licensed by.

For example, PTs practicing in Florida who are licensed by the Florida Department of Health are required to earn 24 continuing education contact hours every 2 years. During the first renewal period, one hour must be on HIV/AIDs CE. In addition, 2 hours must be on the prevention of medical errors ce. All of the 24 hours must be completed by November 30th of odd years.

Be sure to look into your state licensing board’s specific requirements to find out exactly how many hours you are required to earn as a physical therapist and when those hours are due.

How Can Physical Therapists Complete CE Hours Online?

One of the most popular ways Physical Therapists choose to complete their CE hours is via online activities including live webinars, lectures, and board review courses.

Some of the top online providers physical therapists can earn continuing education hours from include:

  • BoardVitals
  • FLEX Online Continuing Education
  • ContinuED/PhysicalTherapy.com
  • HomeCEU

BoardVitals

BoardVitals provides continuing education board review courses covering over 30 specialties including Internal Medicine, Pain Medicine, and Sports Medicine. These board review courses are a great way to stay up to date within a specific specialty by answering the most pertinent questions regarding a specific field. Their courses offer a various number of continuing education credits dependant on the specialty you select.

They also have an offer called CME Pro Plus that allows Physical Therapists to get up to free $2,000 Amazon or Apple Gift Card with their purchase.

FLEX Online Continuing Education

Flex Online Continuing Education is a national provider of CEU (continuing education) contact hours for license renewal for PTs. They offer a wide range of activities that can help meet various state board requirements. Their courses also cover a wide range of topics including hamstring strains, should problems, ACL surgeries, and many more.

FLEX’s PT courses range widely in credits offered. Courses typically cost $9 per credit offered.

ContinuED/PhysicalTherapy.com

PhysicalTherapy.com from ContinuED offers a one-year membership for $99 that provides unlimited access to their entire course library. The library contains over 300+ online courses developed by leading experts in the physical therapy field. In addition, there are new courses added weekly. The membership also provides the opportunity to Physical Therapists to attend weekly live webinars that foster real-time interaction and learning.

HomeCEU

HomeCEU aims to provide a wide catalog of online activities to help therapists meet their continuing education requirements while enhancing their knowledge to become better in their field. With their unlimited CEU subscription, Physical Therapists can gain access to unlimited access to HomeCEU’s various online activities including online text, video CEUs, and webinars.

Physical Therapists can also purchase access to individual courses. The courses offer a wide range of CE credits and the price varies dependant on how many CE credits the activity offers.

What are the top Live Seminars and Conferences Physical Therapists Can Attend for CE Credits?

There are many live seminars and conferences held annually but some of the top live events Physical Therapists can attend are:

  • Summit Professional Education
  • Great Lake Seminars

Summit Professional Education

Summit Professional Education hosts over 2,200 live courses every year that Physical Therapists can attend to earn CE credits.

Their live activities are held in various states across the United States, making it less of a hassle to find a course nearby to you. The webinars cover a wide range of topics so it should be relatively easy to find a live seminar that best matches their interests and continuing education needs.

Each live activity is priced determined on the amount of continuing education hours it offers. However, Physical Therapists also have the option of purchasing the “All Access Summit Subscription” which gives therapists access to unlimited live and online courses.

Great Lake Seminars

Great Lake Seminars aims to provide a live learning environment that will leave Physical Therapists feeling that they can immediately apply the best treatment methods in their practice.

Their seminars are described as 25% classroom learning and 75% Hands-on learning. The seminars cover a wide range of techniques pertaining to specific topics. Examples of topics covered include spinal mobilization, shoulder treatment, and treatment of headaches.

Great Lake Seminars does a great job of selecting professional instructors who facilitate the learning and ensures each participant is actively involved.

Be sure to check their calendar for a session that is coming up near you, as their sessions take place in cities all over the country.