Whether you’re a veteran at the bedside, or in the early stages of your career, you may have noticed that the way nurses care for patients has changed over time. Healthcare is an ever-evolving field where new research and technologies are constantly coming into practice, and the best nurses keep pace.
Changes in evidence-based practice mean that nurses need to pursue continuous professional development. Most States require nurses to participate in continuing education to renew licensure or certification, and many hospitals and healthcare facilities also require specific continuing education.
While completing continuing education to stay compliant can be time-consuming and inconvenient, it doesn’t always have to be such a chore. As a professional nurse, taking the initiative to engage in lifelong learning can support you and your professional development beyond simply checking a box.
Importantly, the ways in which nurses can receive their continuing education are evolving and expanding. While in-person learning opportunities are still an option, the explosion of online learning in the last couple of years really highlights online continuing education for nurses as a convenient and effective opportunity with some impressive benefits. Let’s take a look.
1. Refine Your Skills
It may seem strange at first to associate online continuing education for nurses with improving professional skills since we often think about skills as being developed and reinforced through a hands-on approach. While this is understandable, continuing education can have its place in skill refinement.
Online continuing education can help nurses expand their knowledge and create a foundation to support the development of the skills they already have. Consider a nursing assessment and physical exam, for example. That is a skill that develops over time with experience and practice.
However, an online educational opportunity that walks you through certain components of that nursing assessment, reinforcing key elements and maybe offering helpful resources, like downloadable documents you can reference on the job, is an entirely different—and also valuable—approach.
This is just one example of many online learning opportunities available to you. Online platforms like #1 Premiere Continuing Education have numerous nursing courses and professional development opportunities designed by licensed healthcare specialists across many topics.
2. Keep Up With Healthcare Trends
Science and technology are constantly pushing boundaries and as a nurse, it’s your responsibility to keep up with the latest healthcare trends. Staying current with medical advances will prepare you to care for your patients armed with the most up-to-date information.
For instance, our population is aging. Since people are living longer, those older generations are inspiring medical advancement and progress in healthcare technology. Awareness that older adults are at greater risk for age-related impaired mobility, nurses need to reinforce their knowledge on the topic of pressure injury prevention.
The rise of telehealth and telemedicine is also changing the healthcare industry, improving ease of access for patients, and continuing education empowers nurses to participate in this growing trend.
3. Accelerate Your Career
Knowledge tends to build on itself. You learn something new which then makes you aware of more opportunities to expand that knowledge. As your foundation becomes wider and stronger, the more you know and the more skills you have begins to amount to more credentials for your career.
Becoming a nurse who specializes in wound care is a great example of how education can increase job opportunities. Pressure injuries represent an incredible amount of preventable spending within the United States. That spending filters down to individual health institutions motivating them to manage their patients in a way that supports prevention and healing while incurring as little cost as possible.
Another opportunity for supporting your career development through continuing education could relate to something like a clinical ladder or annual review. Many times these evaluations take into account education and specialized training. Showing that you have taken the initiative to go above and beyond in your own professional development often looks favorable in the eyes of those evaluating you.
Online continuing education for nurses can also include learning opportunities applicable to scenarios outside of direct patient care. Topics related to nursing leadership, for example, can reinforce your leadership skills as a trusted team member amongst your colleagues as well as prepare you for moving into a more formal leadership role.
4. Online Continuing Education for Nurses On Your Terms
Let’s face it, none of us have enough hours in the day. Between our professional roles, personal obligations, and wanting to save a few moments for ourselves, convenience is king. Online learning opportunities enable nurses to complete courses on their own time and at a pace that works best for them.
As an added bonus, online learning is affordable. No need to worry about commuting to the in-person class which can include things like fuel and parking or to take off work with personal benefit time.
Access to quality continuing education is made simple by #1 Premiere Continuing Education. The Unlimited Nursing CEU Subscription makes it easy and includes more than 100 continuing education hours. Topics range from cultural competence to wound care to safe opiate prescribing.