It’s essential to comprehend the crucial part that continuing education plays in a nurse’s professional development. It improves their knowledge and abilities while also ensuring that they stay current with the most recent developments in healthcare, which results in better patient care.
“Let us never consider ourselves finished, nurses. We must be learning all of our lives.”Florence Nightingale
Those words were true then, and as medical science evolves rapidly in the modern world, even truer now.
Read on to learn about continuing education for nurses, including what it is, why it’s important, and its benefits.
What is Continuing Education for Nurses?
Continuing education for nurses is the process of acquiring new knowledge and skills throughout your career. It involves ongoing professional development that helps you keep up with the latest trends and best practices in your field.
continuing education for nurses can take many forms, such as attending educational events, self-directed learning, and pursuing further qualifications.
Why is Continuing Education for Nurses Important?
The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, so you need to keep up with the latest advances in technology, treatments, and patient care.
It’s important continuing education for nurses to keep up with the industry standards. In essence, without current knowledge, nurses are unable to provide contemporary care.
That’s why continuing education in nursing is woven into the healthcare systems of most countries. For example, Australia’s AHPRA uses these guidelines to outline how continuing education should be approached.
Career advancement, pay scaling and tax incentives are all designed to encourage you to keep progressing your skills to become a more effective caregiver.
5 Benefits of Continuing Education for Nurses
Continuing education for nurses can bring many benefits to them, their patients and the overall healthcare system.
1. Improved Patient Care
Nurses who engage in continuing education are better equipped to assess and evaluate their patients, identify potential health risks, and develop more effective treatment plans. This is because they have the most up-to-date knowledge.
This can lead to improved patient outcomes, reduced hospital readmissions, and higher levels of patient satisfaction. It also means they have an awareness of less well-known techniques, such as therapeutic communication methods.
2. Personal Growth
When you feel confident in your knowledge you feel empowered. Continuing education can help nurses develop a sense of purpose and personal growth.
One of the things that make being a nurse worth it is a sense of pride in what you do. Knowing how to provide high-quality care means you’ll feel more fulfilled in your career.
3. Professional Development
Continuing education can help nurses develop new skills and knowledge to advance in their careers. This can lead to new opportunities and promotions.
Naturally, to be put in charge of other nurses, or to specialise in a particular field, you need to prove that you have superior knowledge. The only way to do this is…you guessed it…to actually possess the knowledge!
So continuing education for nurses is also in their self-interest – and in yours!
4. Improved Salary
Similar to how the positions a nurse can apply for scale with their knowledge, so too does their pay.
Nurse salaries are dictated by two main things: how educated you are, and how much supply versus demand is attached to your role.
Therefore, the more educated you are, and the harder it is to find someone with your skills, the more you will earn. This is a very real incentive to further educate yourself throughout your career.
If you are regularly attending nursing events you may find that networking starts to happen fairly organically.
Continuing education is a great way to meet other healthcare professionals and build relationships. This can lead to new job opportunities, mentorship, and collaboration on research projects.
What Different Forms of Continuing Education are Available?
Technically speaking, any method you use to gain more knowledge about your field counts as continuing education. But there are three main methods nurses use.
1. Additional Qualifications
While you might groan at the idea of going back to university for a different type of nursing degree, there’s no escaping the fact a real qualification is tangible proof that you’ve equipped yourself with new skills.
In fact, you’ll find with many promotions or specialist nursing careers, it’s a mandatory requirement.
2. Conferences, Seminars and Workshops
Events are held regularly all over Australia and can cover a variety of topics, from general healthcare to being specific to your field.
Many of these are free, and options for attending virtually are common since the pandemic. So you can afford to learn new knowledge and skills for free, and without even having to travel!
If the event you’re interested in does have a fee, but you feel it will help you perform your role better, discuss the cost with your employer. They may be willing to pay for you to go. Otherwise, remember that events are usually tax deductible.
Similar to events, scholarly journals are an excellent way of keeping your finger on the pulse (pun intended) when it comes to medical news. Subscribe to ones that feature general healthcare and medical science updates, but also ones that are field specific if you can.
Have You Considered a Nursing Agency?
Nurses Now is a nursing agency that prides itself on our incredible team and the outstanding care they provide.
We offer exciting opportunities to help in places where you are most needed and to learn skills across different teams and workplaces. If you, or someone you know, would be a good fit, we’re always looking for new nurses to join our family.