Quote from llg
I support the Virginia Board of Nursing's decision to not require CEU's. There is no evidence that states the require them provide better care than those that don't. Until that evidence is clear, it would not be right to require them. The role of government regulation is to protect the public's safety -- and until the evidence exists that shows that mandatory CEU's do that, the State Board has no business requiring them. A lot of experts agree with my position, which explains why so many states do not require them.
I've been around the nursing (and the nursing staff development) business a long time. Many, many CEU's are granted to participants who didn't learn a thing from the program -- and will have no improvements in their practice because of that educational program. People cheat. They skip out of conferences early to go sightseeing. They share answers on self-study modules. etc. etc. etc. The system is so full of holes, it is totally non-trustworthy. That's another reason not to make them mandatory.
There are better ways to protect the public than by encouraging the current broken system of CEU's.
I couldn't agree more. I remember when the state in which I grew up was going to start requiring annual CMEs for physicians, and my father (who was an MD) commenting that it wouldn't accomplish anything -- people who were sincerely interested in staying current and informed in their practices would do so whether it was required or not, and the people who weren't interested would find the path of least resistance around the requirement.
A few decades later, after practicing as an RN in a state that didn't require CEUs for license renewal, I moved to a state that did. I remembered what my father had said on the subject, and was v. interested in seeing how the mandatory CEU issue worked in my new state. What I found was exactly what my father had predicted. The BON required 24 hours of CEUs to renew your license every two years -- and the hospitals at which I worked (and, I'm sure, nearly every other hospital in the state) offered a 1 hour inservice (with CEU credit) each month and offered each inservice on a few different dates, on all shifts, so the all the nurses could attend on their working hours. Many of the hospital nurses showed up and sat through the inservice every month, even when it was a topic that had nothing
to do with their specialty/practice, and got their one hour CEU for the month. Many of them read magazines, worked on crossword puzzles, chatted with friends, etc., during the inservice (obviously
paying no attention at all), but they got their 1 hour
, and had enough hours accumulated when it was time to renew their licenses. So, the hospitals provided their staff nurses with a free. painless, meaningless way to meet the BON requirement and maintain their licensure, while those of us who sought out new learning opportunities, were active in professional organizations, attended conferences (at our own expense), etc., continued to do so, regardless of whether we were required to or not ...
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.
IMHO, requirements for continuing education accomplish nothing. They can't make
people be interested in professional growth and development -- those people who aren't will find the "path of least resistance" around the requirement.