As nurses, we always need to have our skills improved. We need to cultivate it in a way where we can have a better foundation to provide the best care for all our patients…but how can we improve it? With the busy schedule we have, do we still have the time to go to school?
We see now-a-days different courses offered for nurses…most of them are online. Online continuing education for nurses is a convenient way of obtaining qualified training. This type of program is increasingly gaining popularity as this is a beneficial way for nurses in terms of working conditions and needs.
We often see online workshops or seminars that is being offered through the comfort of your own home. What you just need to do is to check if it suits your needs, then you can register for that, and you can view/study it anytime. These seminars or workshops are also good means of acquiring credit units that we, nurses, need when we renew our licenses.
We once register for this online course in one of the online institution here in the US, the PESI Inc. It was about cardiac rhythm and pharmacology. At first, we were somewhat apprehensive as we are used to classroom type for short courses..but as we started the course, we kinda like it.
What can we get with online education?
Online continuing education gives the chance for people, like nurses, to work and study at the same time. There are programs online that you can take to do a higher level of education or you can also just take short courses if you just want some credit units, but both will be beneficial in molding your skills.
Online continuing education courses has its good and not so good sides. One good reason, we can say, is that it is more convenient and flexible. You do not need to go to class and stay there for a couple of hours or the entire day. You can still interact with your classmates or instructors. In terms of the scheduling, you can take it from the comfort of your own home and at your own pace.
For people who prefer a traditional face-to-face or in person set-up, online courses probably may not be a good idea as you lose out the networking and physical interaction opportunities. You need to have self-discipline and know how to manage your time, as you need to work on your own. You need to be able to study on your own, listen to lectures or presentations online and write down information deemed necessary on your own..so in short, you need to be a highly motivated individual if you opt for online education.
Continuing Education (CE) units…is it a requirement?
As per Texas BON, all nurses holding an active Texas license are required to demonstrate continuing competency for relicensure. This supports the mission on the Board of Nursing to protect and promote the welfare of the people by ensuring that each person holding a license as a nurse in the State of Texas is competent to practice safely.
Since we are talking about requirements, how can we get these continuing education units and what is its relation to contact hours?
A contact hour is when someone is able to obtain fifty (50) or sixty (60) minutes of instruction in a board-approved continuing nursing education class or seminars or workshops. You can earn one CE unit for every ten (10) contact hours. Most nursing online courses offer their program in equivalency with CE units. Reference: www.allnursingschools.com/articles/nurses-continuing-education/
A certain number of CE units is needed to acquire license, relicensure, and certification requirements for healthcare professionals, like nurses. Each state has its own requirements for the number of units needed. Most of the states require you to complete certain number of contact hours. Some does not require CE units, some only needs refresher course or mandatory continuing competency, but some do require this. Every two years to three years, nurses are required to complete from five (5) contact hours (..for full time nursing practice) up to thirty-six (36) contact hours in their area of practice depending on the state. Reference: www.nurse.com/state-nurse-ce-requirements
Where to find accredited online continuing nursing education?
As there are a lot of online programs popping out, one should be diligent in checking if it is accredited or not as this is one of the most important things that you need to consider when choosing an online program. If you are aiming for an online course to count towards renewal of a license, then this course/program must have been approved by one of the credentialing agencies recognized by the Board.
Every state’s Board of Nursing may have some difference in their requirement for accrediting your CE units. To make sure, check with your state BON to know if the CE units offered by an online institution will be approved. CE units cannot carry over once you have renewed your license, it is not intended to be used throughout your nursing career. This is to encourage nurses to continue educating themselves on a regular manner.
There are a lot of online organization offering online courses. To name a few are PESI Inc., Medscape, and American Heart Association. All these organizations offer online continuing education seminars/programs/training that meet the demand of the healthcare professionals – to enhance their knowledge and skills, and provide the needed improvement for their patients.
Education is a learning process..everyday you learn something new and everyday you improve. The evolution of these online courses or programs has given healthcare professionals a means to continue their education. With all these online courses offered, it is easier for anyone to complete their missing units for their requirements or pursue in a much higher level of education even while working. By registering for online courses, you will gain the skills, knowledge, prepare for new or expanded roles, and enable you to become more competitive in the healthcare world.
We’re hoping that this has helped in some way. If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section and we will be more than happy to help you out as much as we can.
Categorised in: Institution
All the best,
Jacy and Ryan (TMD Team)