Nursing Continuing Education

Being a nurse has long been considered to be the noblest of professions. In fact, even to this day, people from certain ethnic groups or communities look at nursing as the only viable career option. Apart form the tremendous satisfaction it brings from the sheer act of caring for and nursing people to good health, nursing is slowly but surely becoming a lucrative profession. Most nurses today in American hospital and private nursing homes earn reasonably good salaries. And hospitals continue to recruit scores of nurses from all over the world to cater to the demand for qualified nurses.

But becoming a nurse is not really inexpensive. Apart from the fact that the course itself is expensive, most nurses have to appear for certifying exams in order to get the necessary licenses or registrations that enable them to become full-fledged nurses. Which is why, a vast majority of nurses complete their basic nursing qualification (usually a diploma) before they enter the workforce.

Once inside, they realize that for nurses with better qualifications, there are tremendous growth opportunities. This usually puts them in a dilemma. If they quit their jobs to take up further courses of study, they not only stand to lose valuable income, but also run the risk of further students loans to pay for costly education. If on the other hand, they stay back in their jobs, they may never see a promotion or an opportunity for growth for a long time to come. The answer to such a dilemma is nursing continuing education.

Simply put, nursing continuing education is an “earn while you learn” scheme. When working nurses sign-up for nursing continuing education programs, they can continue to work at their regular hospitals while they improve their qualifications on the side. Most Diploma in Nursing holders can thus sign-up for a Degree program and work for their degree part-time while working as a regular nurse. Of course, such a course might be longer than a conventional full-time course, but the working nurse need not give up her job to pursue her education.

Most hospitals in the United States have a tie-up or affiliation with a college or university that provides nursing continuing education. Since the hospital itself administers the program, the nurses stand to benefit as they can schedule their rounds conveniently in order to accommodate the demands of the course. They also prefer hospitals which provide the option of nursing continuing education because this is a guarantee that they will have chances to grow in their chosen profession and consequently, earn more. And for the hospitals, it makes commercial sense because they have a steady pool of nurses guaranteed to undertake the course. Further, hospitals favor the nursing continuing education programs because it helps them retain staff in an industry that is always short of qualified nurses. It makes for better business sense to retain and train their existing nurses than to find new nurses.

Most American Nursing Associations like the American Nursing Association (ANA), American Nephrology Nursing Association (ANNA) and others are strong proponents of nursing continuing education. After all, it is a win-win situation for all concerned. And who would say not to happy, qualified nurses working in stress-free hospitals!