Continuing education among healthcare professionals is an industry standard. The healthcare industry is constantly changing and with these new developments, technologies, rules and regulations, it’s critical for those in specific healthcare professions to stay up to date with continuing education.
What are Continuing Education (CE) Credits?
Continuing education (CE) credits are required educational requirements for several professions. Each state has different CE requirements for healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, and even mental health professionals, to remain licensed. For example, in Florida, each person licensed as a registered nurse (RN) must complete 26 contact hours of continuing education during each licensure period. A contact hour is usually 50-60 minutes of instruction in a board-approved nursing continuing education class or activity.
The material in continuing education activities evolves as healthcare changes. This helps ensure that you stay informed about the constantly changing world of healthcare. Plus, you can choose which courses to take to ensure they align with your interests and career.
Why is Continuing Education Important in Healthcare?
The thought of continuing education may be daunting for many people, and many also consider it a frustrating process. This is understandable because many healthcare professionals have spent many years training in their field, and still they’re not done with school.
This is actually a great thing, and these are the reasons why:
Increases potential for promotion
Employers look for a number of factors when considering employees for promotions and special opportunities. By initiating continuing education, devoting time to learning more about your field, and, in some cases, spending your own money to do so, individuals can show that they are interested in improving. Not only will you gain an additional set of marketable skills, but your passion for your position or for the improvement of your industry will show.
Boosts potential for salary increase
Often times, your investment of time and money in further education leads to an increase or a higher starting salary. According to Western Governors University, someone with a college degree can expect twice the pay of someone without the degree. Further, additional degrees and certifications can extend that pay in comparison with a typical position holder for the same job.
Improves your Marketability
While basic job security is desired, being able to market yourself among fierce competition is a benefit, especially in our fluctuating economy. You may not be interested in bogging down your resume with every experience you can imagine, but a few thought out continuing education courses that are streamlined towards your career goals will help you market yourself.
Improves your Lifestyle
As if the increase in income or the ability to market yourself wasn’t enough, continuing education can also boost your self-esteem and likelihood to feel content. Challenging your brain and working towards goals you have set for yourself offers a mental boost, which should carry over to multiple aspects of your life.
Improves Patient Safety
According to the Institute for Health Care Improvement, “Continuing Education is a vehicle for spreading best practices and how to improve patient outcomes.” New medications, technologies and protocols can all contribute to improved patient care. Continuing education can help you stay up to date on these advancements. This will allow you to be better equipped to help your patients in their time of need.
Helps in Personal Development
Continuing education, especially in smaller bursts, is a great way to discover or explore talents or interests that you are unsure of. Without the commitment of a full career change, you can spend a shorter amount of time discovering if this is the right path for you. Additionally, continuing education tends to have more flexibility and options in regards to length of courses or method of delivery, allowing for different learners to adapt.
For healthcare professionals, the value of continuing education cannot be underestimated. It allows you to continuously evolve your wealth of knowledge and personal growth. Pursuing CE opportunities also allows you to grow your expertise in specific areas and niches that interest you and are relevant to your career, opening new doors for your career to blossom.
Staying Licensed and Certified
Many employers and state boards require continuing education for license renewal. Every state has its own license renewal and continuing education requirements. Some states require fewer continuing education hours prior to license renewal compared to others, but CE is usually required to maintain licenses in the healthcare industries.
How Do I Earn Continuing Education Credits?
Live conferences and seminars are common ways to earn CE credits, while absorbing new information, but there are also online courses and webinars that allow you to earn your credits in a more flexible format. Many licensed professionals prefer getting their continuing education online, where learning is flexible and affordable.
Online continuing education providers, such as AchieveCE, also provide a convenient continuing education experience to licensed professionals, as they usually take care of CE reporting and collecting CE requirements mandated by various state boards. Be sure to look for a Board-approved provider, so you can claim continuing education credits for your next license renewal!
AchieveCE can help you invest in your continuing education! As a Board-approved and nationally accredited continuing education provider, we have years of experience in helping healthcare professionals like you invest in themselves while maintaining their licenses.