Healthcare professionals should maintain their clinical competence and update their medical knowledge from time to time. Currently, there are many changes taking place within the healthcare setting. The changes are increasing the pressure from various professional bodies, the general public, and care providers for nurses to engage in continuing education. These programs help nurses to maintain and develop practical skills and knowledge and meet licensing requirements.
Nurses also get the opportunity to advance their techniques and learn more about safe patient care. If you are a nurse or thinking of becoming one, here are nine things you need to know about continuing education.
- Continuing education comes in many forms
As a nurse, continuing education allows you to go back to school and advance your degree. You can improve it with a master’s degree in Nursing or focus your studies on education, administration, and information, among other fields. Furthermore, you can obtain nursing certification in any specialty like med-Surg or gastroenterology.
- Helps nurses to keep up with best nursing practices
Standards of care and nursing best practices keep on changing frequently. As technology advances, nurses have many ways of helping to reduce death rates and the quality of patient life. Through the different types of continuing education available today, you can gain insightful information that you can implement to improve your patients’ outcomes.
- Learn diverse nursing topics
One reason most nurses do not consider continuing education is because they think the topics are repetitive and boring. The reality is that there is a range of topics to learn. Also, you have the freedom of choosing the course you want to take. Any course you choose will be relevant to your professional practice.
- Offer evidence-based patient care
The RN continuing education is evidence-based. You learn the skills and gain the knowledge that has already been tried, tested, and proven to be practical and useful to patient care. By learning them, you put yourself in a position where you can deliver the best care.
- Keep your nursing license
Depending on your jurisdiction, there may be a law that requires mandatory continuing education for nurses. In that case, you will have to complete several courses to keep your license. Check the laws in your area to ensure whether it is mandatory to have such education to avoid losing your license.
- Become a source of information
As a nurse, your patients and colleagues will always ask you questions. Therefore, you must be able to give them the answers they seek. That will make you a reliable source of information amongst your colleagues.
- Get a hike in your salary
Healthcare organizations nowadays use education as a basis of employee evaluation. Your employer may require you to have a specific level of nursing education to consider you for a promotion or get a standard score. If you have extra training, it can help to boost your pay grade.
- Gain confidence in your practice
Nursing can be challenging if you do not have the right knowledge or information. Patients also rely on you to get accurate information and provide the best care. Through continuing education, you will gain knowledge and skills that will boost your confidence as you serve your patients.
- Become a leader
Continuing education can help you to improve your leadership skills. You will learn different strategies that will help you to manage other nurses well. Also, you will gain the skills needed to climb up the leadership chain.
As a nurse, you should consider continuing education to keep your nursing knowledge updated. That will also enable you to maintain your license and gain other useful certifications. Look for continuing education courses online to get started.