This week, September 12-18, 2021, is Nurse Professional Development Week, which recognizes the exceptional work done by nursing professional development practitioners — nurses who educate nurses. So this seems like a good opportunity for us, once again, to extol the benefits of continuing professional education for nurses.
Last year we posted some tips for keeping up with professional development as a travel nurse, but in case you need a little extra nudge to complete your CEUs for this year, we’d like to offer a few gentle reminders why your continuing professional development is more than a chore, it’s a patient protector and career enhancer.
Obviously, keeping current on the latest developments in nursing practice is essential to maintaining competence in your chosen profession. The COVID-19 pandemic is a powerful example: as nurses everywhere faced (and sadly still face) minute-to-minute challenges to accepted practices and come up to speed on new ones on the fly while grappling with unprecedented patient loads and very real threats to their personal health, volleys of information and misinformation flooded the media. Fortunately, trusted sources of continuing nursing education quickly responded with practical, up-to-the-minute information that nurses could put into practice. Earning CEU credit, in those cases, was almost incidental to the benefit of bringing the most up-to-date information to the patient’s bedside.
Keeping up on nursing best practices through continuing education has direct patient benefits in other ways as well, especially if you’re several years out from earning your RN or BSN. Not every hospital will have the resources to train nurses in the current standard of care, and your knowledge of today’s best practices and guidelines may prevent unnecessary harm to a patient.
It also doesn’t hurt to become the go-to source of reliable information for your fellow nurses. Establishing a reputation for being the nurse in the know reflects well on your character, commitment to your patients, and willingness to support your team.
Interested in pursuing a specialty but not sure it’s for you? Taking a few CEUs in that field can help you make the decision, while giving you a head start on job opportunities if you decide to take the plunge.
In addition to the self-confidence gain you’ll realize from pursuing further education, your constant evolving knowledge and expertise will signal to coworkers and employers that you are serious about your work and want to remain at the top of your game. And your wealth of knowledge will put you ahead of the pack when opportunities for advancement arise.
Whatever branch of nursing you work in, you’ll find dozens of CEU offerings directly related to your current — or future — work. Whether you want to boost your confidence and competence in what you’re doing today or hope to do to advance your nursing career, continuing ed can give you the demonstrable skills and credibility you need.
We know every nurse has their own go-to source for CEUs, but to celebrate Nursing Professional Development Week 2021, we’re giving away ten One Year Unlimited Memberships to MyFreeCE.com. As the name suggests, these memberships can be used to take any course offered on MyFreeCE.com, and includes all course materials, testing, re-testing (if necessary), and completion certificates. Enter today for your chance to win!