You’ve worked incredibly hard to become a nurse. And if you’re like many of the nurses we know, it’s clear that this is your calling – what you were meant to do for the rest of your life!
So the last thing you want to do is fall behind on your continuing education and risk losing your license! In order to keep your licensing, you have to regularly complete continuing education courses, but depending on your credentialing and state the number of hours required varies greatly.
For example, if you’re an RN or LPN you may need up to 30 CEs every two years. While some states do not require CEs, we strongly believe that continuing your education is essential to maintaining your nursing career and furthering your education on the latest advancements and techniques in medicine.
For those that do require continuing education (CEUs), we wanted to offer a bit of help. In order to identify the best courses and get started on earning your nursing CEUs, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide.
How to Easily Earn Your CEUs for Nursing
First of all, what is a CEU? If you’re new to the nursing profession, you might not know what all the acronyms stand for. Many states require nurses to acquire a number of “contact hours”, or the number of hours you spend in a class. CEUs are continuing education units (also referred to as CEs) and they reflect the time spent participating in a course or another approved activity. In addition, one CEU is the equivalent of 10 hours of instruction, or contact hours.
In order to meet your contact hour requirements, you need to know exactly what those requirements are before you can start to research the course you need. And where you practice nursing will determine what you have to do.
This site, Nursing CE Requirements by State, is a fantastic resource to get you started. Simply click on the state where you are board certified and it will tell you what you need to maintain your credentials. The site shows requirements for both RNs and LPNs.
Once you know what you need to stay certified, then you can start to search for continuing education courses that will meet other key criteria.
Recommended Criteria for CEUs for Nurses
While the requirements vary state to state, the way you go about achieving your CEUs should stay constant. With all of the courses available, you need to be especially diligent that you don’t waste your time on the wrong ones. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing your continuing education courses.
Quick Tips for Nursing Continuing Education
- Choose approved or accredited programs
- Study hours must be related to nursing in some way
- The course must be administered by an approved CE provider
- Identify courses using evidence based research and nursing best practices
- Find courses that are relevant to your current position – or where you see yourself taking your career in the future
Ideally, you can check with the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and see if you can take any ANCC-approved courses. This organization sets the standards for nursing board certification. Because it is recognized by all state boards of nursing, you’ll be setting yourself up for success.
Affordable CEUs for Nurses
Completing your continuing education doesn’t have to break the bank. There are companies, such as The CEU Group, who offer discounted continuing education courses. By partnering with continuing education providers, The CEU Group offers a long list of promotional codes specifically for nursing ceu courses. Check out our discounts here and save time & money, while achieving the required CEs for your state.
Check with your employer – they’ll often cover what you need!
Don’t forget to check with your employer about CEUs they would fun. Most employers know that they are improving their overall practice by keeping their nurses accredited and up-to-date on the latest in health care, so they’d likely be willing to accommodate any costs for continuing education.
Finding the right CEUs for nurses doesn’t have to be complicated or take up tons of time. By checking the CE requirements for your state and using the right resources, you should have no trouble keeping up your certifications.
Looking for more tips on navigating the world of continuing education? Download The CEU Group’s FREE guide on how to choose and register for the best courses for your career. Continuing education just got a little bit easier – Click here to download today.
This blog post was originally published in June 2019.