Online Continuing Education Courses for Nurse Practitioners

Nurse PractionerAs a nurse practitioner you must ensure that your education and credentials are always current. Only then can you know that you are administering to your patients in the best possible manner that you can.

A nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse who has received special training and completed advanced nursing education in the form of a master’s degree or a doctoral degree. A NP can perform many of the duties of a doctor and can work with patients without the supervision of a physician. Nurse practitioners have been trained in the diagnosis and management of many common medical conditions as well as some of the more complex ones. Nurse practitioners also must pass a state exam to obtain their license to practice. In the majority of states these healthcare providers must receive CE credits in order to maintain their medical licenses.

Continuing Education Requirements

Continuing education for nurses practitioners is something that they must be willing to do in order to upgrade their skills. To understand what the continuing education requirements are for NP’s you first need to become acquainted with the terminology. The term “contact hour” (CH) is used by the American Nurses Credential Center’s Commission on Accreditation. A CH equals one unit of continuing education for nurses. A CH for accredited nursing courses is equivalent to one hour of a structured learning activity that is either clinical or didactic in nature.

To figure out the amount of contact hours for a specific learning activity you need to add up the number of minutes the activity will take to complete and then divide it by 60. For instance an activity that takes 120 minutes to complete would equal 2 CH (120/6= 2).

There is also something known as continuing education credits or “continuing education units” (CEU’s) that nurse practitioners can take. Continuing education units for NP’s are made up of 10 contact hours of participation that must be overseen by a qualified and experienced supervisor.

Online continuing education courses for nurse practitioners are a convenient and flexible way to gain the credits you require. While you may not be able to earn all of your credits over the Internet you should be able to earn a few this way. Do a search to find out which educational institutions offer online continuing education courses for nurse practitioners.

Most of the states deem it a requirement for nurse practitioners to take a specific amount of continuing education units in order to renew their license from one span of time to another. The purpose of doing this is to make sure that the NP has the opportunity to learn new areas of specialties and can gain additional experience in the field. It is also important for the nurse practitioner to keep up with changes that are occurring in the field. Within the realm of medicine advancements and new methodologies and technologies are emerging all of the time. Before you apply for any online continuing education courses for nurse practitioners you need to find out what the requirements are in your state and then from there select courses that are accredited.