If you’re in nursing, you’d probably agree that the profession involves lifelong learning. This is because the field of healthcare and medicine is constantly evolving thanks to advancements in knowledge and technology. If you’re in nursing, you’d probably agree that the profession involves lifelong learning. This is because the field of healthcare and medicine is constantly evolving thanks to advancements in knowledge and technology. CEU credits are important to help keep RNs updated on the latest advances in the field while also giving them the leeway to explore opportunities in other areas like pain management, geriatrics, or home health and hospice care.
Every registered nurse has earned their fair share of CEU credits in the course of their professional journey to fulfill some requirement or the other. But is there actually a need for experienced nurses to take on additional coursework when they are already working in the field?
CEU credits help keep your skills sharp
The NCSBN deemed CEUs necessary to maintain the high-quality of healthcare that nurses provide all over the country. If the nursing license is the means to check the competence of nursing graduates before allowing them to begin practicing, CEUs ensure that practicing nurses have the knowhow of the latest treatment techniques in the field. Further, since CE content also evolves with the times, this is the best way for nurses to stay up-to-date on the latest medical practices, techniques, and discussions.
Nursing license renewal
Since the primary objective of CEU credits is to keep nurses competent and updated, it is understandable why most states require their nurses to earn around 20-30 hours of CEU before they can renew their license to practice. But it is also interesting to note that this very reason sparked a debate whether Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Life Support (PALS), and Neo-Natal Resuscitation Program (NRP) are credited coursework for CEU. While most states do not allow CEU credits for these courses, some do – so it’s always practical to check your state’s CE requirements to avoid confusion.
Employment and further career growth
Although nursing boards in states like Arizona, Delaware, and Colorado do not require CEU credits, potential employers in these states may look into your CEUs while considering you for a position, especially if you are applying for jobs with specialty certifications.
CEU credits also play a big role in your career advancement. Some CE content that may be vital in this area of professional growth includes healthcare management and quality improvement, management, standards, and process. CEUs are also great cards to play when negotiating your salary as a nurse.
Tips on earning and keeping track of your continuing education units
Most nurses put off earning their CEUs until the last minute, and then scramble to find classes that would accommodate them. We suggest you do the exact opposite and reach your CEU credit requirements way before your license renewal deadline. Even if you’ve just had your license renewed, it’s not too early to start earning more CEUs since this allows you to be ahead of the requirements and lets you proceed at a more leisurely pace, so your next license renewal can be less stressful.
Check if your CE has the approval of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or your state’s Board of Nurses/ Board of Registered Nurses. You can look for a provider on the ANCC website or check a provider’s website for ANCC accreditation. Remember that an accredited CE provider issues certificates with their ANCC-provided numbers. A certificate without these numbers may just render your hours invalid.Always be prepared for an audit. Scan, file, and store your certificate’s hardcopy properly. You can also make a spreadsheet listing your CEs, the CEU credits you earned, the provider, and when you finished the course. This practice can make credit computing hassle-free.