Don't put off meeting your continuing education requirements
Follow these tips to earn your CE contact hours throughout the year
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By Maria Morales
RNs learn in nursing school how important it is to maintain their nursing licenses after they earn them. “Do not jeopardize your license by not following policies and procedures,” you were told. “Meet your
continuing education requirements
But even as technology advances and the methods for taking CE courses increase, some of you may struggle with getting it done by deadline. Here are some easy tips to follow that can help you meet your CE requirements without the year-end CE pileup.
Plan to take at least one continuing activity each month. This will add up over time. If you know you need a certain number of continuing education credits per year, divide the number over the year into a monthly goal. It’s easier to handle, and you can spend more time learning instead of cramming in content in a short amount of time.
Take advantage of free CE credit opportunities
. partners with many entities to provide free continuing education credit to healthcare professionals. Opportunities are only free for a specified amount of time, so keep in touch to take advantage of all opportunities and not let one pass you by.
Keep track of your completion certificates so they are accessible digitally or by paper file. That way you can easily have your proof of credit at hand. It simplifies the process when you need to compile or show your credit for certification, clinical ladder opportunities, state licensure needs, etc. The system allows for you to keep track of all your transcripts in one place. All courses are tracked digitally and can be accessed at any time.
As you peruse the internet or journals for certain topics that arise in your clinical or nonclinical journey, check and see if a continuing education provider offers a learning module on the topic. This is an efficient way to keep up to date with the changing healthcare environment and also earn credit at this same time.
If CE hours are not
required in your state
, consider making a personal commitment to logging 10 to 15 hours of CE courses each year anyway — especially if you are not enrolled in a higher degree or certification program. This shows your current employer (and prospective employers) your commitment to lifelong learning.
Continuing education modules have been created for a wide array of topics — and more are always being created! If your curiosity about a certain topic has been piqued by current events, a special patient, or a personal experience, do a search and see if there’s a CE module that fits the topic. You may be surprised at what you find!
Join a specialty organization or professional nursing organization for your nursing area of concentration. This may provide you with access to a specialty journal, information about seminars and conferences (online and on-site) and other resources for continuing education needs. If a certain topic is explored within the organization without credit, you can always search for the topic on to see if an educational activity with credit is offered. This provides a great way for you to learn and get different perspectives on the same topics. Repetition and discussion of information from different viewpoints is a great way to reinforce comprehension.
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Maria Morales, MSN, RN, CPAN, is executive director, healthcare programs, for OnCourse Learning.