The various options available to nurses for continuing their education to keep it up to date.
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Like all health care professionals, nurses need to keep their education up to date. This allows the nurse to remain on the cutting edge of medical science. Most states do not require continuing education credits for Registered Nurses or Practical Nurses. Those nurses with advanced practice degrees are generally required to have proof of their continuing education. Several ways exist for nurses to stay up to date with their nurse education.
Keep going to school.
Nurses can advance their knowledge by advancing their degree or diploma. The Practical Nurse can go on to school to receive and Associated Degree in Nursing. This educational credential is enough to prepare the nurse to make the leap from being a Practical Nurse to being a Registered Nurse. For the Registered Nurse that has not acquired a 4 year degree, the Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing or BSN is the next educational step.
The formal education can move on to more advanced degrees.
A Master of Science Degree in Nursing or MSN is the next level up from a BSN. At this level, several options are available for career direction. The nurse can choose to stay on the general nurse career path and move into management or some nursing specialty. The MSN qualifies the nurse to seek out teaching opportunities at the university level if it is desired. In most states, the advanced practice nurse or nurse practitioner only requires a masters level degree. Some of these rules are being upgraded to a doctoral level degree.
Nurses sometimes add on a business or education degree at the higher levels to better focus their career.
For the nurse who is heading into management, a business degree like an MBA can be quite an asset for career advancement into upper level management. Sometimes moving into a social work degree like an MSW is the right educational choice. For the nurse who desires to become and educator, adding a masters level education degree would be desirable.
Not all nurses are seeking to become highly educated.
For these nurses, many seminars and workshops are available to enhance knowledge and talents already possessed by the nurse. Continuing Education Credits or CEU’s are awarded based on the level of the material and the number of hours spent. These CEU”s can sometimes be used when trying to gain credit for life experience to save time on a future degreee. In some fields, the CEU’s are a requirement to keep certain types of credentials like a long term care administrator’s license.
Some nurses stay up to date by working in state of the art facilities.
To keep their education up to date in this manner requires the nurse to be willing to sometimes change employers to stay with the most current facilities, equipment, and techniques. Many hospitals have ongoing instruction for their nurses to keep them on top of the latest health care innovations. The same is true regarding keeping equipment at the leading edge of technology. At the same time, these institutions try to hire the doctors who are committed to advancing medical excellence and knowledge as much as possible. This all works to keep the nurse completely current in technology, practice, and skills.