After nursing school, you have the option to complete continuing education courses. We know, the last thing you want to do after the difficult years of nursing school is to go back to school. With that being said, continuing education for nurses is a way to show your dedication to patients and continually improve skills and knowledge. It was even shown in a study that nurse education level correlates with patient mortality.
For some nurse specialties, it is required that you complete a certain number of continuing education courses each year to ensure current licensure. It can be difficult to find time for these courses, but there are many benefits. Here are a few things to remember for continuing your education.
Continuing Education for Nurses
Many courses that fall into continuing education for nurses are measured by contact hours and Continuing Education Units (CEU’s). A contact hour refers to 50-60 minutes of instruction in a board-approved setting. One CEU is equal to 10 contact hours. Each requirement will be different, so be sure to manage your time efficiently.
There are different forms
There is not a “one size fits all” in continuing education for nurses. You can go back to school to pursue your Master’s degree or obtain other certifications in different nursing specialties. If you choose to go for your Master’s, you could focus on administration, education, information, and others. You could also make the transition from RN to BSN.
You can improve your lifestyle
Obtaining certifications or advanced degrees can lead to many positives in your lifestyle. Although it can be a stressful time, it could lead to higher pay and increase your chances of securing your #1 job. Sometimes, employers even reimburse you for the education after you complete the degree or certification.
There are different ways to learn
There are many different routes nurses can take in continuing their education. Here are a few examples:
Nursing conferences are great ways to network with others and also continue your education. Most conferences offer sessions to obtain CEU’s. Before attending a conference, decide what you’d like to learn and plan in advance. They can be expensive, so check if your employer will cover the cost. It is also possible to apply for a grant or state funding to minimize the cost.
If you have a busy schedule to begin with, this might be the option that best suits you. There are many universities and private companies that offer continuing education for nurses. This is the most convenient option but might not give you the experience you are looking for. Before enrolling, make sure that the course is accredited properly.
Attending a webinar is like attending any seminar, just through the internet. There is usually a topic, speaker, audience, and question and answer session. They can also be referred to as virtual workshops. Most are free and can count toward your CEU’s.
Not everything will count
Be aware that some activities will not satisfy requirements. Taking part in normal tasks for your job will not be enough. Attending business meetings or orientation activities also will not count toward your continuing education. Each state also has different requirements, so be sure to check those out before starting.