Continuing Education: Friend or Waste of Time?

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    Recently I was told that most RN's practice nursing pretty much the same as when they graduated. This suggests that as nursing research discovers more efficient ways of caring for patients, the practice of nursing is generally unphased by new methods and information. On the other hand, many of us subscribe to professional journals and attend seminars and symposiums in order to keep ourselves and our practices current. The question I pose to you is how do you keep your practice up to date? Of what value are CEC's to you? What helps you the most? Thankyou for your responses! KRRN
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  4. 5 Comments so far...

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    I disagree heartily that I practice the same way I did when I graduated!!! I've been a nurse for close to 22 years and I hope I've changed some. I pick continuing ed according to self-identified learning needs and I look for sources of high quality ed that will help me be exposed to new ideas that I can use. Not all continuing ed meets this definition. Sometimes continuing ed is mainly a networking opportunity.
    When nurses identify that continuing ed is a waste of time (and here is the inflammatory part of my post) then I would suggest that they have not carefully identified their own learning needs and tried to meet them. Our state allows college level nursing courses to be used as continuing ed requirements and this has helped me keep my continuing ed relevant while pursuing further degreess.
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    I find continuing education to be one of the cornerstones of not just my nursing practice but of my business. I do not practice the same as I did when I graduated. I am more organized and experienced and better educated, not just through the various programs I've attended but from learning from the hundreds of women I have labored with and from my nursing and medical colleagues.

    I think what you recently heard could be categorized as an overgeneralization. I think we may see some resistance to change our practice simply because we have change rammed down our throats day in and day our with mergers, restructuring, staff turnovers, policy changes and the list goes on and on.
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    I love to learn. I am much more educated, and organized since educating. And every year I learn more and more.

    I work contigent and I'm busy starting a family. I'm happy to collect C.E.U's. Making it a requirement....makes me take the time to learn. (Before starting a family...I was always learning and taking additional classes...now my focus has changed some)

    I take a lot of C.E.U classes through my hospital. They're usually free... I have taken classes through local colleges. They're a lot more expensive...but classes were also informational.

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    I am not required to earn CEUs , but I enjoy learning.So I don't think I practice the same as I graduated. I have found the internet a great place to learn disease process, treatment modalities, new trends, etc. When a patient to ask me questions about their disease I like to be able to answer their questions. Helping the patient understand can improve patient compliance and relieve fears.
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    There are many {older} nurses who resist change, either in basic nursing care or even more in new ways of doing paper work. Anyone who has been in nursing long knows most new forms arn't realy new, just being changed again. The newest wonder drug is very popular for awhile, new treatment, the doc's put all their pts on it. New antibiotic,give it to all pts. As nurses we learn every day, from each other, from our patients, from the doc. No one could work and not learn new things. We just are not given credit for all we do know. Well I'm off my soap box for awhile.//di


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