The true meaning of continuing education

  1. I'm really not shocked that nobody here seems to be expanding on their base knowledge. Nursing school isn't all easy and the strain you can feel in the "real" world of nursing once you hit the floor and all the new skills to master can make continuing education look like just an annoyance to satisfy licensing requirements, but once you've settled into a daily routine don't you get curiouse about some of those "blank spots" that seem vaguely like something you used to be intimately familiar? Don't you always have something to learn?
    There must be somebody out there that is using some time to better themselves as practitioners.................do I have the wrong audience? Perhapse no good can come of knowledge outside of curriculum as a nurse. Maybe that's just reserved for the doctors and wannabees......uhmm?

    Let's find out.

    P.S.
    If you would please show the board what you use to expand your skills and how you utilize them......Texts, CD-roms, programs....ETC
    Last edit by Peeps Mcarthur on Apr 16, '02
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  2. Poll: About medical competency and Nursing

    • Efforts beyond standard nursing curriculum and CEU's is wasted because nurses don't need more than that

      0% 0
    • A nurse should continualy increase their knolwedge base through self study using media, conferences, mentors, textbooks and generraly anything that they can learn.

      93.06% 67
    • What a nurse learns on the job is all you need to be medicaly competent because nursing is "hands on" learning.

      6.94% 5
    • I have an assortment of reference materials and ocassionaly peek at them when I have nothing better to do.

      0% 0
    72 Votes
  3. 36 Comments

  4. by   Q.
    Further education is very important, especially in an ever changing medical field. I don't think CEU's should be mandatory; nurses should simply understand that they cannot possible learn everything they need to know on a floor and therefore obtain them on their own good conscious. Or so I would hope.

    There is so much more out there folks; open up your minds.
  5. by   4XNURSE
    We agree on this one! No matter what your level of practice, or your years of education or experience. The whole healthcare industry needs continuing education to keep up.

    And then there's all the stuff we forget. ... I need reminders daily.

    I don't know anyone who knows it all. (I've met a few who think they do)

    KEEP LEARNING !

    just my $ .02

    ken
  6. by   WashYaHands
    I agree with Suzy and Ken.

    "Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs" Albert Einstein

    Linda
  7. by   fergus51
    I'm with Susy. I don't think they shuold be mandatory for liscensing, but a lot of nurses voluntarily get more education for the sake of education. I just did a fetal heart monitor refresher course Friday because we are trying to standardize nurses' interpretations of the strips. My main beef with continuing education is that it isn't supported by employers. I don't have a lot of spare time and money....
  8. by   Fgr8Out
    I advocate continuing education wholeheartedly. We're required to renew our licenses regularly and I believe that CE is an important means of showing our committment to our Profession. Studying, attending conferences, reading literature in Journals keep me informed of the latest technology, what's in and what's passe. For anyone to think that Continuing Education is a waste of time I say... to what purpose did you enter this Profession, if not for an increase in knowledge and learning? (Patient care aside).

    Life is one of continual learning... our Profession deserves nothing less.
  9. by   RNforLongTime
    I am constantly amazed by all that is out there in the nursing "world" that I do not know! I consider myself to be very well read. I have a nice Nursing reference Library that I have built up in the 5 years since I became an RN. I just recently started in ICU/CCU 6 weeks ago. Before my first day there, I purchased 2 different critical care nursing texts plus 2 different critical care reference handbooks. I also subscribe to 3 different nursing magazines, Nursing , RN and AJN. I am a member of the Association of Critical Care Nurses and therefore receive their magazine as well. I am also a member of the ANA and the Ohio Nurses Association (this is required at my facility as the ONA is our baragaining Unit).
    Whenever I have a patient whose illness I am not familiar with or haven't had much experience with, I'll go home and look it up in my med-surg or critical care text. Nursing is a changing field. There is so many different aspects of nursing that one cannot possibly know it all. I am a proponent of continuing education for maintaining one's license. In Ohio we are required to earn 24 CEU's for each bi-ennial renewal period. One of the CEUs has to be related to the laws of the Ohio Board of Nursing. Learning is a life long process that doesn't and shouldn't end when we finish nursing school.
  10. by   micro
    Originally posted by 4XNURSE
    We agree on this one! No matter what your level of practice, or your years of education or experience. The whole healthcare industry needs continuing education to keep up.

    And then there's all the stuff we forget. ... I need reminders daily.

    I don't know anyone who knows it all. (I've met a few who think they do)

    KEEP LEARNING !

    just my $ .02

    ken
    :stone :stone :stone WORTH THE REPEAT............other than that..............up tpp late........
    noc all:stone :stone :stone
  11. by   traumaRUs
    The state of Illinois recently started mandatory CEUs. Our hospital requires 20 ceu hours/year for us in the ER. We also have to be current in ACLS, CPR and a peds course. I'm the charge nurse and love ER, so I've added: ENPC, PALS, BTLS, TNS, pre-hospital RN and soon, TNCC. I feel I would be slighting my pts and co-workers if I didn't know what I was talking about.
  12. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    14% response rate so far...............uhmm, I'm beginning to feel a little like a genetic freak of nature. I just took it for granted that more of the nurses that were diligent enough to earn licenses would also be the ones to seek medical knowledge for the pursuit of it alone. It is very early to tell with only 100 views on a BB that has a few more active members than that, but 76 people viewed the poll and declined to even vote. Regardless of reference materials they may use(we may assume not) they felt that the topic of educating youself as a nurse was not even worthy of pointing and clicking! I can imagine they likely don't even own a dictionary.:stone

    Maybe the topic is just not sexy enough for them........:chuckle

    Here is my list of reference materials outside of the required textbooks:
    Professional Guide to Diseases, Sringhouse

    Professional Guide to Signs and Symptoms, Springhouse

    Tabors Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, F.A.Davis

    2002 Drug Handbook, Springhouse

    Interactive Physiology 7 System Suite CD-rom, Adam.com

    Adam Interactive Anatomy CD-rom, Adam.com

    Current Emergency Diagnosis and Treatment, Appleton and Lange(it's not really curent but it's an interesting peek at an ER physician's perspective)

    I also have textbooks that are used for infrequent reference when I need to have "the big picture"
    1 on organic chemistry
    1 on chemistry for biology majors(a workbook with an outstanding CD-rom)
    3 on genetics
    2 on biology

    I imagine that as time moves along I'll throw some out, but many more will replace them. I was really hoping to get some ideas from nurses that I see as professionals that are working with patients on a daily basis. As in KAKNURSE's description of a Nursing library. That's how I envisioned a nursing profession. One that values education beyond the scope of that which is required to keep your license.

    KAKNURSE.....................What are your favorites? How do you utilize them?
  13. by   petiteflower
    I love to go for CEU's I love the challenge of learning. I have been out of school for 2 years, completed various critical care courses, as well as ACLS, PALS, NRP, TNCC, and am getting ready to do ENPC and hopefully ATLS or CATN this summer. I think these courses are good for us, there are so many things that change in patient care, and the knowledge we gain from these courses we can share with our peers. One thing I have done to learn and practice--the internet. There are some really cool patient simulators and information that are really great. If anyone wants a list, I would share.
  14. by   Agnus
    peeps you don't want to know them all. I am sitting here looking at 2 shelves of references that I USE.

    Not to mention my texts that I am currently using while working on my BSN.
  15. by   nightingale
    It is paramount in our ever changing world of health care. I have periods of time where I crave school for its' stimulation. Okay okay it passes.. but there are moments.....

    My favorite references of late are:

    Drug Reference: Blanchard and Loeb 2002 Drug Handbook (inexpensive @ $ 20, user friendly, large print, and stays open when you want it to)

    Springhouse Nursing Herbal Drug Handbook (suits me and my patients needs who take vitamins, remedies, and herbals for self care and maintenance).. didn't YOU reccomend this to me once? lol.. anyhoo... heard it here first on this BB.

    Lippincott - Nutrition Handbook for Nursing Practice (had it since nursing school 4 years ago and still love the reference accesibility. Invaluable for "those diets" patients need to be on)

    Camp Nursing Book: The Basics of Camp Nursing
    Author: Linda Ebner Erceq , Myra Pravda
    Format: Paperback
    Publication Date: April 2002
    ISBN: 0876031734
    List Price: $ 29.95

    (cause I am going to camp nurse this summer for the first time)

    Medical Surgical Nursing Certification Review Book - Springhouse New Edition (I am taking the Med/Surg Board Certification test through ANA this fall)

    I have others but they are generic references and are still packed away. I just moved and am putting together my referenece material and getting a new bookcase.

    Peeps.... I think I hear what you are saying in your (IMO) frustration with our diversity of knowledge base (or lack of). I believe people, and yes nurses, must have some sort of demands made of them to follow suit to maintain their knowlege base. Some need it some not. For this reason, I bleieve mandatory CEUs are appropriate and necessary to maintain high standards and expectations.

    I am not reimbursed for my impending Board Certification. I do it because I want to maintain a high level of information. I do it, not just for me, but my patients. Yes, I think it will look good on my resume. Ultimately, I do this because I need to feel like I know what is going on.

    It is not for me to say why other nurses do not get certified or hunger for more knowledge or training. I can only speak for myself. The last think I ever want to do is criticize another person who I have not "lived in their shoes"... or as we say out west "lived in their mocassins"...

    This is a great thread.... Thank you......
    Last edit by nightingale on Apr 15, '02

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