Nursing continuing education is mandated in most states are constantly updating their knowledge base and skills. A nurse will never learn all that is necessary to know from nursing school. Lifelong learning is a reality. Nurses learn something new every day on the job and through constant study and research. The homework never ends whether it be researching more about diseases, chronic conditions or lab values, etc., that your patients today had. Or preparing for your next shift and possible cases.
Technology is constantly evolving, and new clues are emerging for advanced treatments and even cures for conditions and diseases. CEU Credits for nurses are expected to stay up to date and prepared to assess and provide care within ever changing parameters. What may have been a longstanding procedure or thought process can suddenly be changed with an onslaught of new research findings, information, and technology. The main purpose of continuing education is to present new skills and improve the knowledge base.
Continuing Education Requirements
Currently 39 states, the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) and the territory of Guam require continuing education courses for nurses for renewal of their license every two to three years. Specific information is available from state boards of nursing. Nurses are responsible for keeping abreast of this information and any changes. Saving proof of continuing education courses is also required by the BON. These requirements vary by state.
Ceu requirements can include specific courses (such as preventing medication errors, sexual abuse, domestic violence or workplace impairment) or are open to any courses that fulfill state mandates. Nurses must meet the ceu requirements for registered or practical nurses in the state of residence for license renewal. Any additional requirements for renewal of certifications and specific APRN requirements are also available on your state board of nursing website.
Continuing education for nurses also affords nurses a chance to explore other options in nursing and build their knowledge base. Advancement in education such as from an ADN to an accredited BSN or MSN also count towards ceus. Note that only nursing courses can be counted towards ceus; not any non-nursing courses such as chemistry or statistics. For accurate planning, check with your state BON to determine what and how courses are counted towards ceus. This may vary from state to state. Never make assumptions.
Higher education in nursing is highly valued because studies continue to show that mortality rates decline in facilities where BSN, MSN or higher prepared nurses are employed. Quality of care has been shown to improve with nurses who have higher educations as well. Magnet facilities prefer to hire BSN and MSN prepared nurses. And hospitals vying for magnet status will focus on hiring only BSN or MSN prepared nurses.