Many successful nurses are choosing to advance their professional education. They may do so for various reasons, such as seeking international employment or transferring to another nursing specialty. However, nurses in full-time positions or who juggle other responsibilities as well may find it challenging to pursue additional nursing education. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Enroll in an accredited institution
When you decide to go back to school, look for a fully-accredited academic institution where your courses will pass muster with medical employers. If uncertain about accreditation, ask an Admissions officer and visit the website to find out. State colleges and universities as well as many or most private schools hold respectable credentials from their accrediting organizations.
Register for CEU classes
CEU (Continuing Education Units) is a leading trend in advanced education for many professions, including nursing. CEU classes are offered in many relevant subjects, such as specialized nursing care, children’s learning disorders, or the aging population, to name a few. Courses like these provide exciting and manageable ways to learn more about a chosen area of specialization. Classes can also meet personal goals, such as learning another language, which is helpful for those planning to travel abroad on a short-term nursing mission, for example.
Consider online coursework
Taking classes online is an increasingly popular way to manage coursework while maintaining a job and other responsibilities. Online courses can be completed at the person’s convenience, based on scheduling needs and preference. Some people study better at night, while others like to start first thing in the morning. Taking online classes at home saves driving time and transportation costs as well as the need to dress up or pack a lunch. Most nursing-related classes are available in online format.
Set a personal pace
While some nurses may eagerly pursue additional coursework or even a new degree by taking two or more classes per semester, others prefer a slower pace. One class a semester, or even one semester a year, is sometimes adequate for nurses with other priorities or who want to become fully immersed in extended learning.
Continuing education for nurses provides exciting opportunities to specialize, to become more proficient, or to enjoy a sidetrack that may run parallel to or overlap with a professional nursing career. A thoughtful, well-planned approach can facilitate the process.