People choose to go back to school for a variety of different reasons. Some of us want to finish a degree. Others want to explore other career options. Some simply wish to learn more about a subject that has always interested them. For nurses, however, the pursuit of continued education isn’t optional. In most states, continuing education for nurses is mandated in order to maintain an active license.
But meeting your continued education requirement can be expensive, either for you or for your employer. Most programs, even home study and online courses, cost money. Free continuing education for nurses may be hard to come by… but it does exist. Taking advantage of these no-cost opportunities to meet their education requirements can help nurses keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date without incurring excessive costs.
Free continuing education for nurses isn’t just important from a cost-cutting perspective; continued education for anyone working within the medical field is absolutely essential. With the medical field advancing at such a rapid rate, it is absolutely crucial that health care workers are aware of and trained in the most current methods of caring for patients. This is why so many states mandate a certain number of continuing education activities for nurses per year in order to continue practicing.
Most commonly, nurses fulfill their education requirements through programs offered by or paid for by their employers. Attendance at a nursing conference and the completion of academic courses are both examples, albeit costly, of the types of activities that can earn nurses their state-mandated continuing education units.
So what types of free continuing education for nurses may be available to you? First, check with your local hospital to see if they offer inexpensive or no-cost training programs for nurses. The demand for registered nurses is at an all time high-the U.S. Department of labor predicts the creation of 587,000 new jobs for RNs between 2006 and 2016, one of the highest rates of growth among all occupations. For this reason, medical facilities may be more willing to provide low-cost or free continuing education for nurses looking for employment.
There are also several online opportunities to obtain free or low-cost education units. These programs are especially advantageous for working nurses as they don’t require you to take time away from work in order to complete your training. A surprisingly rich selection of material is available, from training in pain management to pediatrics to critical care. There are also directory services available to help you identify no-fee courses at just the click of a mouse.
While continuing education for nurses is certainly important, it doesn’t have to be costly. With a little bit of effort you can find low-cost or free continuing education activities that will allow you to update and enhance your professional skills without adversely affecting your financial situation or placing an excessive burden on your employer.