Reasons Why Nurse Continuing Education is Critical


Five Tips Advancing Your Nursing Career

By: Melissa Mills, RN, BSN, CCM, MHA

Nursing changes daily. Therefore, nurse continuing education is vital to the success of each individual nurse and the profession as a whole.

Nurse continuing ed is a lifelong commitment. Nurses must stay abreast of the most recent news and research in their specialty and the industry as a whole. Continuing your education is also a great way to learn about new specialties or fast-growing nursing careers you may want to explore.

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Types of Nurse Continuing Education

Nurse continuing education comes in two general forms.  

The first form is a requirement, which is that all nurses must complete nurse continuing ed for licensure. The courses are typically a few hours to a few days in length and can be done online, through workbooks, or in-person.

The second form of continuing ed is elective in nature. In it, nurses can continue their education by obtaining certifications or degrees, such as a Bachelors, Masters, or other advanced practice degrees.

Importance of Nursing Continuing Education

Nursing continuing ed is important, but why? 

Times are changing. At the end of 2017, Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, made a bold statement when he signed into law a requirement that nurses must earn a BSN within 10 years of initial licensure.

Will this impact nursing as a whole? Many believe it will, because New York is home to 8% of all nurses in the U.S. Thus, this law may set precedence for minimum nursing education requirements throughout the country.

Frontline staff. In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. This report recognized nurses as frontline healthcare workers and challenged them to attain higher levels of education and training to better serve the public.

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Maintaining your license. All states offer licensure to professionals who meet the minimum standards of nursing practice. Individual states assure the public that the nurse has met predetermined minimum qualifications to practice. Licensure along with nurse continuing ed is an insurance policy the state issues to its citizens assuring them that the nurses will do no harm when providing care.

Career options. Continuing you nursing education provides options to expand your career into new areas. As you find your specialty and obtain nursing continuing education, you will likely find the right nursing job for you.

Nursing continuing education is beneficial to your individual nursing practice and the profession as a whole. Continue to grow as a professional by choosing nursing continuing ed that makes you a better clinical practitioner.

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