The healthcare profession is a knowledge-driven field, and staying up-to-date with the latest knowledge for patient care is crucial. However, medical professionals are also known to be very busy and their time for continuing education is usually limited. That is why many health professionals have turned to online continuing education providers like AchieveCE to complete their CE requirements for license renewal.
Many states also recognize the busy schedule of healthcare professionals. Florida, for example, has allowed CEs to be completed online, so long as the CE providers and courses are approved by the state. This setup allows healthcare professionals to manage their own time for education and learn at their own pace.
Though convenient, completing your continuing education requirements online presents its own challenges. Many online learners are struggling to actually learn from their courses. Since online CE courses are always available online, many also procrastinate completing their CEs on time.
AchieveCE, being an online CE provider for over 8 years now, know the struggle licensed professionals encounter when studying online. Here are our top 5 tips to successfully completing your continuing education requirements at your own pace:
1) Start Early.
This is probably the most obvious tip for busy healthcare professionals, but it’s one that’s always worth repeating: Getting started is half the battle with procrastination!
When the license renewal deadline feels far away, it’s easy to be complacent and defer your online courses until later. That often leads to cramming when your license renewal draws near. That’s definitely not the right way to go. If it makes sense to get started right away and tick off some required courses, then go ahead and do it.
Having a 24-30 required hours for continuing education might be daunting, but it can help if you start on your courses early and take it one course at a time.
2) Check Your Requirements.
One of the first things that you need to knock off your to-do list in completing your CE online is to make sure that you have the updated list of required courses from your state. You don’t want to spend hours studying courses that are not accepted or required by your state board.
Thankfully, there are many ways of checking what your CE requirements are. State boards also have their requirements posted online, even when some of them have pretty confusing navigation and wording.
Online CE providers like AchieveCE have this information readily available for you. You just need to go to the page of your profession, select your state, and your requirements are already outlined for you. AchieveCE also has packages and memberships that automatically adds all your CE requirements to your account – all you need to do is take them!
3) Choose an Approved Provider
Choosing a continuing education provider that’s approved by your state is just as important as double-checking your requirements. As mentioned, you don’t want to spend hours studying for courses by a provider when they are not recognized by the state.
You can easily check the accreditation and approved status of your provider by going through their Accreditations page, usually located on the provider’s About Us. You may also reach out to the provider’s live chat support to ask which of their courses are approved by your state.
4) Explore Course Formats
Holding yourself accountable to your own learning is easier when you are engaged with the course material. There are as many course formats as there are types of learners, and you need to explore the learning format that works best for you!
Not into reading long pages to finish your continuing education requirements? Monographs might be the way for people, but if you don’t like them, try looking for providers that can provide video courses that you can play on demand. Better yet, you can look for live webinars where you can join that will allow you to directly interact with faculty. AchieveCE even has mini-credit courses called CE On-The-Go that help pharmacists and pharmacy technicians gain 13 hours of credit a year just by attending a weekly 15-minute session.
Online CE providers, such as AchieveCE, have different learning activities that you can check on to see which format works best for you.
5) Keep Certificates
Once you’ve finished your courses, you need to secure a copy of your certificates. Your certificates are your documentation that you have completed your continuing education requirements for a given renewal period.
Documentation of completion of CE activities should be supplied to you by the provider of the activity. The most common documentation asked by State Boards when they’re auditing licensed professionals are the following:
- Licensee’s name
- Title of the education activity or course
- Approval code or course number
- Date of program completion
- Name of the provider/instructor
- Name of the organization which approved the program for CE
- Contact hours
AchieveCE keeps a record of all your certificates in your student dashboard, so you don’t have to worry about losing them. A copy of your certificate will also be emailed to you, so even if your credits are already reported to CE Broker or CPE Monitor, you’ll have your own record of attendance to our courses!
Online courses present challenges if you’re not prepared. But, if you develop skills for effective online learning and make sure you are learning the right things, you’ll find that online continuing education courses can be an excellent alternative to a traditional in-person seminar. We hope that you get to apply these tips for online learning success to make sure you get the most value out of your next class.