Why Ongoing Education is Vital for Nurses and Nursing Assistants

In the nursing field, your education doesn’t end the day you earn your degree. Nursing involves lifelong learning, and continuing education units are a critical part of it.

Regardless of your nursing level or years of experience, there will always be something new to learn because the health care field is constantly evolving. Advancements in technology and improved techniques mean you’ll never run out of things to learn.

Continuing Education for Nurses

Most states require registered nurses to complete continuing education every two years as a condition of license renewal. A few require completion of CE hours every three years. A handful of states don’t require any CE, but it’s still in a nurse’s best interest to continue their education. States that require CE usually have a set number of hours nurses must complete within a specified timeframe. Some states have specific ongoing education requirements during each renewal period and/or annual requirements.

For example, West Virginia requires nurses who prescribe, administer or dispense controlled substances to receive best prescribing and drug diversion training during each renewal period. West Virginia also requires RNs to complete two contact hours of CE annually for mental health conditions common to veterans and their families. Florida has very specific requirements for each 24-month renewal cycle, including two hours each in medical errors prevention, the laws and rules governing nursing practice, human trafficking and recognizing impairment in the workplace, among others.

CE and other licensing renewal requirements differ by state. Check with your state licensing board to make sure you’re compliant. Some employers also may require their nurses to complete CE to earn job-specific certifications that could lead to promotions and pay raises.

 

Continuing Education for Nursing Assistants

Certified nursing assistants, also called Certified Nursing Assistants or CNAs, also must complete CE hours for recertification. In most states, this occurs every two years, but it can vary. Contact your regulatory agency to confirm the mandated number of hours in your state to ensure you’re compliant.

Many states require CNAs to complete CE on specific topics and may require a set number of hours each year, generally 12 hours. However, California requires 24 hours each year, and Florida allows CNAs to complete 24 hours within a two-year span but has a list of specific subjects they must take. These subjects include CPR skills, bloodborne pathogens, medical error prevention, domestic violence, infection control, CNA documentation and legal aspects, communication with impaired clients and resident rights. Besides state-mandated CE, a CNA’s employer may require completion of specific CE hours as part of their continued employment.

Benefits of Ongoing Education for Nurses and CNA’s

The more you learn, the better you are at your job, and the more you’ll likely earn. In today’s ever-changing medical environment, ongoing education is essential to stay current with the latest changes, remain confident that you possess the latest skills and ensure you’re providing optimal care based on the latest nursing protocols. All these benefits are good for you, your facility and most especially, your patients. Other benefits of ongoing education for nurses include:

  • Refreshing outdated information
  • Developing new skills
  • Providing an opportunity to explore other areas of nursing
  • Keeping up with industry standards
  • Growing as an employee
  • Improving your reputation and credibility in the nursing field
  • Maintaining your license
  • Challenging yourself
  • Helping prevent burnout from boredom
  • Reviving your passion for nursing

One of the biggest benefits is financial because continuing your education may help you stand out from the rest when you’re looking to advance your career. You can also leverage your advanced knowledge to raise your salary in your current position.

Aceso Institute Offers Continuing Education

Aceso Institute was created to meet the needs of nurses and student nurses in our community. We understand how demanding nursing can be because we were founded by nurses for nurses. Aceso Institute offers a variety of continuing education courses and educational videos. Our curriculum is engaging and thorough and meets all state and federal regulations.

Besides state-mandated CE courses, nurses and nursing assistants must renew their Basic Life Support certification every two years. We can help with this through our two-hour American Heart Association-approved course covering BLS for health care providers. We also offer individual tutoring to give nurses the extra help they need no matter where they are in their education. Contact us at 407-594-4291 to learn more about our ongoing education programs and courses today.

 

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