As a nurse, you are a highly educated and qualified employee. You are up to date on the latest procedures, treatments, and even laws. Or are you?
If it’s been a while since you were in nursing school and you haven’t pursued any continuing education, there is a big chance that you might be a little bit behind in the world of nursing knowledge. You might even be missing out on some great opportunities that might come your way. If you haven’t considered continuing education due to cost, time, or energy, it might be time for you to start. If you’re not convinced, here are five excellent reasons why you ought to consider continuing your nursing education.
Be Better at What You Do
You are a nurse – you’re qualified and certified. But is that your end goal? Being a nurse is a great job, of course, but you should always strive to learn at every opportunity. Having more knowledge means you’ll be a better nurse. You’ll have the most current information on new treatments and medications. You’ll learn new techniques that will make your treatment of patients easier and better. You’ll even learn about new discoveries in the world of medicine, like new illnesses, viruses, and disorders. Having all of this knowledge at the ready will ensure that your patients are receiving the best care possible. Learning new tried-and-true methods will help you grow your skills. Even if you are fine with the position you have now and aren’t looking to advance (more on that in a second), simply knowing more makes you better at the job you already have.
Nursing is a wonderful career, but there are so many other aspects of nursing and medicine that can be explored with further education. For instance, if you would like to move from clinical work to research, seeking out your MSN degree will allow you to do that. You could then be part of a team that works on breakthrough treatments or discoveries that advance healthcare. With a degree, you can also have more freedom to choose your specialty, from oncology to pediatrics. If you’re looking for something different, something more exciting or interesting, continuing education is the best way to go about it.
If you are a registered nurse, you have already completed your nurse schooling and certification exams However, many states require that you renew your license in order to keep practicing. To renew, you will most likely have to complete a few continuing education classes. While it sounds like a chore, it’s actually very helpful. You’ll get to keep working and you’ll get current information that will help you become better. Not only that, but in some cases, these classes can be applied towards a degree program, meaning you’ll get more for your money if you pursue a bachelor’s degree simultaneously.
It’s Not That Hard
Ok, it’s not that continuing your education isn’t hard, because it definitely is. You’ll have to work around your nursing schedule and give up a lot of your already rare free time. It will be challenging.
But it’s getting easier and easier to pursue a BSN or MSN degree as a working nurse. Online nursing schools are becoming increasingly popular with working nurses since courses can be completed at any time and you don’t physically have to be in class. These courses are often created specifically for those working full-time jobs and still looking to improve their qualifications. Choosing a good online program takes just a bit of research online. Look specifically for courses that are in line with your career goals and ones that offer real support from professors and other students via message boards, email, and video chats.
Requirements for Hiring are Getting Tougher
Like many professions, base requirements for getting hired in the first place are getting tougher and tougher. Registered nurses, while competent and capable in general, simply don’t have the extended in-depth expertise that degree-holding nurses do. More and more nurses are seeking degrees which means employers have a larger pool of qualified candidates to choose from for any given nursing position. Take the time to make yourself competitive in your field by continuing your education and perhaps seeking a degree. As you learn more skills during your program, you’ll even be more suitable for higher-paying jobs. If you are aiming for managerial positions eventually, you’ll just simply need a degree to be considered.
Being a nurse is hard already, and it can feel impossible to find the time to continue your education. However, there are so many benefits that you can take advantage of when you put in the time and better yourself. If you are still in doubt, just know that it is totally worth it, as hard as it seems right now.