Importance of Continuing Education for Nurses and Their Employers
Written by Joshua Kleinstreuer
IN A NUTSHELL:
- Continued education especially important in health care
- Allows for career growth and compliance
- Beneficial to employers as well
Many people are grateful to put their college days behind them and they are often regarded as some of the most stressful years of your life.
However in the health care industry, continued education shouldn’t stop after you graduate. Nurses along with their employers will see legitimate benefits when they pursue continued education.
Benefits of Continuing Education for Nurses
Nurses operate on unusual work schedules, and it can be difficult to comprehend squeezing continuing education units (CEUs) into their life on the side. However, the importance of continuing education for nurses can prove critical in upholding their career.
Luckily, many of the courses available can be taken online or at your own pace.
Develop New Skills
The health care world is ever changing. It’s critical that nurses stay up to date with modern medical practices and information. The information you’re learning in CEUs are tested and proven to work by nurses, so you can be assured you’re keeping up with industry standards.
Procedures often change, and nurses who aren’t informed may be unintentionally providing their patients with inadequate care. They’re often the individual spending the most time with patients, so it’s important that they are delivering the best and most reliable medical attention that they can.
Grow as an Employee
It’s satisfying to receive praise from colleagues and supervisors and moving forward with CEUs can help you grow as an employee and improve your reputation in your field.
CEUs often operate as a means of teaching you new information while refreshing the information you learned in the past. If your first run in nursing school is far behind you, it can be incredibly helpful to have a refresher.
Renewing this knowledge will also solidify your reputation as a trusted source in the workplace. Being someone who can answer questions and provide info is a great way to establish yourself as a role model in your workplace.
Maintain Your License
It’s important that nurses complete CEUs in order to maintain their nursing license. Many states require that nurses complete a certain number of contact hours and/or CEU hours annually or biannually.
Respark Your Passion
Everyone experiences burnout from time to time, especially if they aren’t feeling stimulated. Nurses put their all into their jobs, so it’s understandable that they might feel themselves losing their passion after a while if they aren’t constantly challenged.
Completing continuing education courses is a great way to reinvigorate their love for the nursing field. CEUs are very diverse, and nurses can often choose which topics they’d like to study to fulfill the hours required by their employer.
Continuing education puts you ahead of the rest and can give you a leg up if you’re looking to advance your career. Having CEUs under your belt, especially if they aren’t mandated by your employer, is a way of building your credibility.
This type of credibility and background is attractive to prospective employers. If you’re in an existing position, you can leverage your knowledge in order to raise your salary.
Benefits of Continuing Education Employers
Many employers see state-mandated CEUs as just another box that they need to tick off with the passing seasons. But health care leaders should make an effort to support CEUs for nurses, as it will only improve the quality of their practice and staff.
Builds Loyalty and Satisfaction
Employers who support a nurse’s continuing education with funds and resources will see a growth of trust and loyalty. If you are helping your employees be life-long students, they will trust that you see them an asset and remain loyal to your organization.
Nurses who advance professionally will also be more pleased with their work and improvement. This will lead to increased satisfaction with their supporting organization.
Improves Quality of Care
The reputation of your organization is heavily dependent on the quality of care you provide your patients. Making sure your nurses are following the most current practices is vital in ensuring you’re delivering the best quality care possible.
Furthermore, with an increase in knowledge comes an increase in safety. Nurses who complete CEUs will be more mindful and informed about safety in the workplace.
Research shows that 39% of nurses say their employer has paid for or supplied a reimbursement for their continuing education. Providing your nurses with free CEUs or at least financial assistance to complete CEUs may seem like a big investment, but it’s one worth making.
It’s expensive to train new nurses. Building on the skills of your existing staff is much less expensive and will lower your turnover rate.
Ultimately, you’ll be creating a more advanced and knowledgeable staff. With a higher level of quality care, you’ll see an increase in patient satisfaction, which ultimately leads to a higher return rate.
Reaping the Benefits
Whether you’re an employee or an employer, the importance of continuing education for nurses can’t be overstated. The benefits stretch beyond your office walls. A more informed workplace creates a safer and healthier community, and your work will support the respected reputation of the medical field.
For more information on CEUs and healthcare career management, check out the rest of our blog and feel free to contact us with any questions about continuing education.