While it may seem that the time for schooling has passed once you’ve joined the ranks of the nursing workforce, the reality is that the professional nurse can never truly stop learning. Online continuing nursing education is an often overlooked, but valuable tool. It sharpens the nurse’s skills and shapes him or her into a reliable source of information that his or her colleagues and patients can trust.
Perhaps the most important thing about online continuing nursing education is that many U.S. states require nurses to take these courses to maintain their nursing licenses. With this in mind, it’s important to make the most of these educational courses. Here’s how you can do the same.
- Think carefully about which courses you would like to take. While some courses are required by certain states throughout your career, other selections have more flexibility on the topic. Choosing a subject that’s relevant to your field is particularly recommended, but it’s also good to stretch your knowledge with courses of more variety. Think about how they will translate into your career path, as many healthcare institutions will take notice of the continuing education courses you participate in.
- Be thorough in your studies. Take plenty of notes during the course and manage your time accordingly. There are a few unique challenges that arise with fitting online continuing education into a busy nurse’s lifestyle, but it does count to be astute. Remember that while continuing education may appear to be a smaller matter, it does create an impact on your future regardless of age or title. Being careful in the small things will affect the larger matters in the long run.
- Online education can open doors to connections. You may find yourself associating with nursing peers and instructors that can help you achieve new opportunities. A popular stigma of online education is that it appears ‘cold’ or ‘distant,’ but more often than not the opposite is the case. Taking a CE course from a reputable institution may also attract other professionals to your expertise in the brick-and-mortar places.
- Don’t forget what you have learned in your continuing education! You owe it to yourself and your patients to effectively recall this fresh new material you have acquired. Consistent memory exercises are a wise endeavor, as the information could impact the recovery and futures of your patients years down the road.
All astute nurses recognize that learning stretches well beyond the college classroom. New information about the medical industry is constantly being updated every day. Take advantage of the online continuing nursing education you participate in and use it to better yourself and the people you work with!
American Nurses Credentialing Center
The Nerdy Nurse