Continuing Education for Travel Nurses: Upskilling on the Road
The nursing profession is always evolving. Every year, nurses find themselves with continuing education (CE) requirements necessary for staying on top of current trends, new skills, and updated care delivery methods. Beyond staying up to date on best practices, nurses have plenty of CE opportunities to grow their skills and enhance their abilities. As you look ahead at 2022, what can you do to expand your professional repertoire?
Stay abreast of continuing education requirements
As travel nurses know, each state has different requirements for nursing education, including continuing education. Nurses are responsible for fulfilling any CE requirements for their resident state’s license, and they’re held to the standards established by the Board of Nursing and Nurse Practice Act of the state where they’re practicing. In other words, before you think about upskilling, make sure you’re up to date on CE standards.
In the new year, get your required CE out of the way as soon as possible. Satisfying these important requirements quickly gives you an opportunity to shift your focus to upskilling.
Pursue additional continuing education opportunities
Minimum continuing education requirements are just that: minimums. It’s prudent for travel nurses to understand that, like any other profession, there’s a wealth of knowledge out there waiting to be tapped. If you have a particular interest, chances are, there are free or low-cost resources out there to help you explore it further.
Continuing Education Units (CEUs) offer a path to accreditation across a wide range of specialties and practices. You might choose to explore upskilling opportunities specific to domestic abuse, transgender health, or PTSD care — all topics requiring an informed approach to compassionate care. Or you might choose to explore more technical education opportunities, such as ultrasonic diagnostic imaging or blood culturing.
Education opportunities exist for any nurse who wants to pursue them. And in the digital age, they’re available to any travel nurse — regardless of where you’re assigned.
Where to find CEUs and courses
Ready to forge ahead and upskill while on assignment? Here’s a look at some of the best places to prospect for free or low-cost CE and CEU opportunities:
- Online courses, such as those offered by NurseCEU.com.
- In-house CEU opportunities offered at healthcare facilities.
- Regional and national conferences near your current assignment.
- Local universities and education institutions offering digital courses.
- Through your recruiter and Health Providers Choice.
The beauty of most digital CE resources is their convenient structure, typically short, self-paced modules. You can learn on your own time at your own pace. And if completed through an accredited program, you’ll earn CEUs toward formal accreditation or certification.
It doesn’t matter what new skills you choose to learn this year. What matters is taking the time and initiative to broaden your knowledge as a caregiver. Whether you learn on-the-job at your next assignment or take time between assignments to pursue more formal education and training, every new skill you learn gives you more value and capability as a travel nurse.