Continuing Education for Nurses
Demand for Nurses is Higher than Ever
During the 1970s, there was virtually no demand for nurses. In fact, people planning to enroll in nursing programs were guided to other career opportunities simply because no jobs were available. From that time to the present, the entire situation has flipped upside down. Today, nurses are not only in high demand, but these professionals can literally choose from any field of nursing they want. Regardless of a clinical situation, hospital setting, mental healthcare facility, nursing home, home health care, or any other type of nursing position, opportunities are in abundance.
Because of this, in the past several years there has been a significant increase in the number of people attending nursing schools to become a nurse, both women and men. Recognizing all the incredible career possibilities, potential for great pay, and self-gratification of being able to help people in need make this an excellent option. In addition, with many colleges and universities now providing shorter course lengths to graduate, there has also been an increase in people in their forties and fifties turning to a nursing career.
Opportunities for Nursing Continuing Education Units, CEUs
Once a person has earned a college degree for the level of nursing interested in, there would be ongoing or nursing continuing education credits that must be earned. With these credits, an individual would be provided with the latest information, practices, technologies, and other data pertaining to the respective area of nursing as a means of staying in practice. In other words, to be a nurse, certification and recertification requirements exist, as well as licensing requirements when someone wants to advance in the nursing career or change fields of care. By law, this individual would be mandated to take nursing continuing education to earn credits but also units, also referred to CEUs.
Going through the process of earning nursing continuing education units is beneficial to the healthcare professional but also the patient. For instance, by being aware of changes in nursing, the nurse is better protected as he or she performs duties while caring for patients. Then for the patients, the type and level of care being provided by healthcare professionals is much better. Therefore, going through this process is beneficial to all parties involved. Nurses and healthcare facilities are not sued as often because the number of errors is reduced and recovery rate and quality of life improves for people receiving care.
Career Opportunities for Nurses
Although approximately 2.5 million nurses work within the United States currently, there are still that many more positions that could use compassionate and highly skilled healthcare professionals. With numbers such as these, it means that America has the world’s largest healthcare occupation yet ongoing issues arise pertaining to quality of care. However, earning a college degree from a reputable college, university, or nursing school for any level of nursing is the best way of getting started but once in practice, earning nursing continuing education credits and units is imperative.
The different levels that this type of education is available for include:
- Certified Nurse’s Aide or CNA – Requires on average successful completion of an eight-week course and passing of the state nursing certificate exam.
- Licensed Practical Nurse or LPN – To become an LPN one-year practical nursing programs must be successfully completed although in some instances, dual enrollment courses through public educational systems can last for two years. Additionally, a national licensing exam for state certification would need to be completed and passed.
- Registered Nurse or RN – As one of the higher levels for nursing, a national licensing examination for state certification must be completed and passed. Typically, people interested in becoming an RN will complete at minimum Associate’s degree although a Bachelor’s degree is recommended, as well as a diploma program. However, when looking at some of the most successful RNs working, many possess a Master’s degree. In addition to this, this board-certified professional would earn extensive nursing continuing education credits and CEUs for the area of expertise. For instance, an RN would take additional courses for mental healthcare, pediatrics, oncology, maternity, emergency room services, etc.
Nursing continuing education credits and units are also provided to other nursing associated positions such as Director of Nursing, Nurse Administrator, Nurse Educator, nursing midwives, Forensics Nursing, PICU or NICU Nurse, and the list goes on. By completing nursing continuing education credits and units, these medical professionals become more empowered and qualified to care for a greater number of people dealing with more health issues. Without doubt, nursing is a vital part of our society, people we depend on all the time but give little thought to preparations so they can care for patients properly.
To be 100% certain that the information and techniques being used to treat patients is accurate but also the most current standards, students must attend a well-respected college, university, or nursing school. Although these courses are available on traditional school campuses, today more and more healthcare professionals are completing courses online.
People need to remember that every state has slightly different requirements for continuing education, as well as contact hours that must be completed, which is defined as 50 consecutive minutes participating in a board-approved continuing education course of activity. For Continuing Education Units or CEUs, a contact hour is defined as ten contact hours for credits earned. Just a few or the educational options that are considered among the best for online continuing education specific to nursing include the following:
- American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
- American Nurses Association (ANA)
- Benedictine University
- Capella University
- Gonzaga University
- Kaplan Continuing Education University
- Keiser University
- Philadelphia University
- Salem University
- University of Phoenix
- Utica College
- Walden University
- Online Continuing Education Courses For Nurses
Continuing Education Considerations for Nurses
To maintain licensing to practice any level of nursing, you would be required by the state in which you work to maintain a current license. If you are like most people, you work, likely have kids, are married or date, and have other responsibilities that have to be balanced for your busy life. Obviously, this would make it nearly impossible to find time to go to school. For this reason, you might want to consider online continuing education courses for nurses so you can stay current on educational needs but without stretching yourself too thin.
Without doubt, choosing online continuing education courses for nurses is the best decision you could make and one that provides tons of benefits. Now, if you decide to go this route, some specific things need to be considered when choosing an online college or university. The great thing is that you will find some incredible options, which includes smaller colleges that focus solely on nursing curriculum, as well as large universities that include nursing curriculum with other courses and degrees.
For some cases, it would be important to choose a college or university that is accredited. Unfortunately, some people attend college, believing the long hours and hard work all go towards earning a degree. However, if the educational institution were not accredited, this would not be the case. If you are going to college to move up in rank for nursing, perhaps moving from an LPN to an RN, then an accredited educational institution is essential. On the other hand, if you were taking online continuing education courses for nurses to meet state standards for holding a license, this would not be as vital.
You also want to consider schools for online continuing education courses for nurses that meet state standards. To determine which colleges and universities are up to par, make a phone call to or check the internet for information through the Department of Education. Just because courses and degrees are offered through an online college or university does not mean high standards are not mandated by the state. This government organization regularly checks finances, policies, and procedures, and if failures are found, an accreditation could be revoked.
To see a full list of colleges and universities that offer online continuing education courses for nurses but also institutions with high standards, you could conduct your own research using any of the primary search engines such as Google.com, Lycos.com, or Yahoo.com. The internet is not only a great way to earn a degree or continue education, but also a place where a wealth of information is available for the asking.
Even though a shortage of compassionate and qualified nurses exists all over the country, doctors, clinics, and hospitals are still particular about the professional staff hired. Therefore, it is imperative to stay current on required education for several reasons. First, online continuing education courses for nurses would offer you better job security and income potential. Second, this would provide more opportunity for advancement within the medical profession. Third, staying current on education would make you a better nurse to the patients you serve.
CE Courses for Nurses
As a nurse training and keeping up on the latest developments in the medical field is such an important element of your job. Keeping current means always knowing what is going on and this means keeping abreast of new developments in technology. Taking CE Courses for Nurses is often more feasible than pursuing studies in an offline educational institution.
Nurses who wish to take online CE courses can find any number of classes and seminars offered by universities, colleges and institutes over the Internet. This is a convenient and accommodating means of enhancing your nursing education. It will keep you up-to-date which can provide you with more options for work.
You may wonder what exactly continuing education for nurses is. It is courses that a nurse takes not to receive her nursing degree and license but later on in her career. As previously mentioned, it helps to keep her aware of any developments or changes that have taken place since she started her career as a nurse.
The online courses you choose can be related to general subjects or they can be more specific ones. The nursing courses offered by online institutions is vast which means that what you choose to take is up to you and related to where you wish to take your career. Every online institution or university has its own specialized curriculum and courses. For instance some of the course options you have for nursing CE (Continuing Education) include biological and physical sciences, behavioral and social sciences, personal development, nursing administration, and legal issues associated with health care. Only you can decide what courses are most suitable to your current job and/or to your career path.
Many nurses choose to enroll in an online continuing education course to further their knowledge and experience in a specific area in the world of nursing and medicine. A nurse who wishes to become better educated about prenatal care for example may decide to take an online CE course in midwifery.
Some nurses choose courses that will help move their careers to a higher level or to work towards a higher degree in nursing. A registered nurse (RN) may wish to take advanced nursing courses in order that she can become one step closer to become a professional nursing practitioner. A nurse practitioner is both certified and licensed to examine patients and then to recommend a course of treatment. She can also write prescriptions for patients as required.
Most nurses that seek out online continuing education course do so to improve and enhance the skills they already have. Some employers appreciate it when the nurses on their staff take CE courses in their free time as they are practicing their profession. In this case online courses really are the best option because you can customize them to fit your schedule.
Online continuing education course for nurses follow a strict curriculum in the same way that courses taken at a university or college campus in the real world do. If you are a nurse who wishes to improve her skills or wants to upgrade her nursing status to a management role for example then do a search online to see what opportunities for educational advancement await you.
Continuing Education for Nurse Practitioners
The past 10 years have seen the rise of nurse practitioners (NP’s) to the medical field. These healthcare professionals have gained tremendous responsibility over the years and the need for them continues to increase. Learn about continuing education opportunities for nurse practitioners.
Continuing Education for Nurse Anesthetists
Being a nurse anesthetist (also sometimes written as anaesthetist) is an area where continuing education is of utmost importance. Online continuing education courses for nurse anesthetists have become a very popular choice because they do not interfere with their jobs and they are generally less expensive then returning to school in the physical world.