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Psychiatric Nursing

Continuing Your Education as a Nurse

by Greg Cryns


            Completing your degree and becoming a registered nurse is not the end of your education.  In fact, youíll be required to continue your education in order to keep your license to practice nursing. Continuing education is coursework offered usually through workshops and seminars.  These educational 

opportunities help to examine current practices and trends in your field.  While there are many continuing education offerings in general nursing, there are also special training opportunities that help you to keep specialized nursing certificates.

            Opportunities to participate in continuing education come in many forms.  Many hospitals offer free training for their employees in order to help them maintain their credentials.  In addition, workshops sponsored by hospitals are often open to the public.           

            Workshops and seminars may also be offered by universities and colleges as well as government agencies such as the public health department.  These seminars range widely in price.  Many are free while others can cost several hundred dollars. 

            In order to receive credit for continuing education, youíll need to sign in and complete an evaluation of the program.  In most cases the agency sponsoring the program will then mail you a certificate of continuing education hours.  They will also report the hours to the licensing board.

            While itís easy to attend continuing education events if you live in an urban area, practicing in a rural area you may find that there are fewer opportunities.  However, in the age of technology youíre never more than a click away from continuing education.

            Many organizations offer online continuing education for nurses and other health professionals.  For a generally small fee, and sometimes even for free, you can take online courses and watch videos online.  After completing a questionnaire and evaluation, youíll receive credit for your online education.

            You can also receive continuing education credits by reading articles in nursing journals and answering questions about those articles.  Those can be completed online or by mail and are another way for you to practice distance education.  You can also earn continuing education hours by presenting at workshops or publishing articles in professional journals.

            Finally, another way to receive continuing education hours for nursing is to take courses in higher education.  Youíll receive many hours for completing a semester course.  This will allow you to take your education to the next level while maintaining your license.



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