Nurses: A Team of Lifelong Learners
Apr. 24, 2023
By Brenda Larson
Why continuing your nursing education is important
Here’s an interesting fact and exciting thought for those of you interested in, and practicing in the nursing field … your nursing education does not end after you get licensed. Nursing requires lifelong education to maintain your license, and job, and to ensure high-quality patient care. What many may not realize is that it also contributes to a high level of satisfaction.
What is Continuing Education?
Continuing Education (CE) for nurses provides the needed training in the latest technology and the best practices to deliver safe patient outcomes. Nurses complete Continuing Education Units (CEUs) after graduating from a formal nursing program. Those units might come from workshops, reading peer-reviewed academic journals and completing accompanying exams, or attending state-approved seminars and conferences. It’s important to note that each state has specific criteria about what qualifies as continuing education.
5 Reasons Why Continuing Education is Important in Nursing
1. Maintain your Credentials:
Maintaining your nursing credentials and license allows you to continue to practice as a nurse in a clinical setting.
2. Learn New Skills:
The healthcare industry and nursing field are constantly evolving, developing, and advancing. Learning additional clinical skills and better nursing practices, which can enhance your professional knowledge, help you better perform your existing job duties, and stay on top of changing trends.
3. Experience a Higher Earning Potential:
Continuing your education may qualify you for a higher position or a higher salary, as it demonstrates your dedication to your profession and an increased level of knowledge.
4. Be Recognized as a Trusted Resource Among Peers:
Advancing your knowledge through learning can position you as a trusted resource and leader in your field. You can serve as a role model to those new to the field, which can strengthen your position at your workplace.
5. Increase Satisfaction:
Knowing that your employers encourage you to pursue continuing education can increase your job satisfaction, which can lead you to deliver your best care to patients, which in turn can benefit your employers as it positions them as a trusted healthcare establishment.
5 Tips You Can Use to Continue Your Nursing Education
1. Consider Your Career Goals:
Identify a specialty and determine if you can pursue it. Research the educational requirements and determine whether they align with the state-required education you're completing.
2. Pursue a Specialty:
There are many benefits of choosing a nursing specialty, here are a few.
Pursue a Passion: Becoming a specialist in a medical area can allow you to combine your nursing knowledge with a passion. Incorporating a passion into your nursing career can help encourage you to achieve your career goals.
Improve Your Job Prospects: Pursuing a nursing specialty may give you relevant skills that can enhance your career opportunities.
Increase Your Salary: Earning additional certifications for nursing specialties may help you earn a higher salary.
Become a Leader: Become a specialist and a leader in the nursing field, which can even enable you to represent your community during interactions with other professionals, such as doctors, policymakers, and researchers.
3. Review Delivery Formats:
Find a delivery format that fits your learning style.
Conferences: If you learn best in an environment with visual and auditory cues, conferences are a fit for you.
In-Person Classes: If you find traditional instruction environments engaging, you can take advantage of this format.
Webinars: Online seminars can be a stimulating choice to continue education from your home.
Online Classes: This educational format may benefit you if you enjoy independent study.
Distance Learning: If you prefer to study independently, you can browse through the literature published in online sources or recorded material on medical or nursing websites.
4. Check State Requirements:
To understand the continuing education expectations, research the requirements in your state. Discover how often to complete CEUs necessary for license renewal, the number of credits you need to obtain, and the type of continuing education activities that count towards requirements.
5. Maintain a Positive Attitude:
When you're fulfilling continuing education requirements, try to maintain a positive attitude and perceive the requirements as an opportunity to grow professionally. Maintaining a positive attitude can energize you. It can build confidence in your abilities, which can benefit your patients, employers, and community.
Continue your path of lifelong learning with Knute Nelson. Knute supports you and your growth by providing scholarship dollars for employees to ease the cost of continuing education. Keep on growing with Knute!