There are a number of factors to take into consideration when planning your continuing education for nurse registration/license renewal. Each state has its own specifications. Some allow nurses to substitute practice hours for contact hours. However, it can take hundreds of practice hours to achieve the number of required hours for CE.
In contrast, 24-30 contact hours every two years will fulfill licensing or registration requirements in many states. You can easily meet this minimum by taking a few hours at a time as the opportunity arises. Just be careful to select accredited courses that are recognized as valid in your state.
Your employer may host seminars/lectures or provide training EKG Certification for nurses as a standard feature of your job. This is a common benefit of working in large medical facilities. However, if you work for a small clinic or private practice you may not have this advantage. Fortunately, there are many affordable options for continuing education for nurse practitioners, RNs, LPNs and LVNs.
Paying for your own courses also gives you the freedom to select the subjects of your choice. Use these classes to fill gaps in your knowledge, open up new career opportunities, and ensure that your patients are receiving the best care you can offer. Employment related CE is usually tax deductible, so keep receipts for any courses you take.
What You Can Learn
There are thousands of possible options to choose from when it comes to continuing education. For nurse training that requires hands on demonstrations, you will need to attend in person. However, most of your contact hours can be earned through distance learning. Here are just a few of the subjects you can choose to study:
- Pain management
- Bio-terrorism preparedness
- End of life care
- Reducing medical errors
- HIV infection control
- Wound care
You can also select courses related to specialties such as cardiology, endocrinology, oncology, and many more.
Ways to Take Courses
If you enjoy the give and take of a seminar, attending in person or via an audio-conference is ideal. That way, you can exchange ideas with other nurses and educators. However, a busy schedule may well keep you from attending classes. This isn’t unusual in the high-demand field of nursing where chronic understaffing abounds. In that case, you may prefer an online course that allows you to start and stop at your own convenience.
Online training is quickly becoming a favored method for continuing education. For nurse educators, it offers the ability to update course materials quickly. This ensures that you learn about the most current medical information and best practices – not what is contained in an outdated textbook. Some CEU providers allow you to take courses before you pay for them. This gives you the opportunity to evaluate the quality of the material free of charge. Of course, to get your certificate showing your credit hours you do have to complete the payment process.