Nursing Continuing Education

Nursing Continuing Education

After a nurse receives the certificate or diploma necessary to work legally as a registered nurse, he or she is eligible to enroll in nursing continuing education, which emphasizes specialized fields in the nursing and medical fields and returns another certificate upon completion of the program. Some of the continuing nursing education fields available to registered nurses are: legal issues of health care, nursing administration and managerial skills, distinctive health care issues such as brain injury or paraplegic care, and working as an instructor in the physical, medical or social sciences. Educational institutions differ in the types of courses that they offer to the nurse wanting to pursue further advancement in the field of nursing, such as programs, which allow a R.N. to succeed as a nurse practitioner, or even eventually a physician.

Depending on the regulations held by the state in which a nurse obtains her degree, he or she may have to take nursing continuing education courses in order to retain their license.

These are referred to as "continuing education units" or CEU's, and are necessary for anyone employed in the medical field as they will instruct the nurse or physician about the latest developments and advances in medicine. Some of the states which do not mandate continuing education are Maryland, South Dakota, Virginia, and Connecticut. About half of all other states demand a certain amount of continuing education to maintain licensure. However, an advanced practical nurse is allowed to forego the nursing continuing education process in only one state, Arizona. The other forty-nine states ask for re-recertification by supplemental education courses to keep a license if you are an advanced practical nurse.

A good thing about nursing continuing education is that many registered nurses are able to attend these courses for free because their current employer will offer a grant that will pay for them, which is reimbursed to them by the government. In addition, there are several CEU programs available online, which offer flexible scheduling for the nurse who is working full-time but needs to be re-certified by taking a certain amount of courses. CEU classes can consist of a one-time seminar to lengthier sessions that may need to be tested over when completed. One "contact hour" is equal to sixty minutes, with ten "contact hours" needed to accomplish one CEU. An example of what are needed regarding "contact" hours is the California's requirement that a registered nurse must show that he or she has finalized thirty contact hours in two years for the state to grant a renewal of a nursing license.

However, be aware that these nursing continuing education points will not supplement the earning of a degree. These CEU units merely represent what is needed for a registered nurse to keep the licensure necessary to be employed as a certified nurse. The fundamental reason behind CEU's is so nurses can remain cognizant of relevant, up-to-date information in order to better assist the sick and injured.

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