If you’ve been a nurse for any time, you know that a lot has changed. Professional nurses constantly expand their knowledge base. We may pursue more education in various ways, both formally and informally. Any path to further education may improve patient care and career possibilities. Research shows that nurses who pursue continuous education get better patient outcomes. A recent study by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing revealed that a 10% increase in hospital nursing staff with BSN degrees reduced patient mortality by 2% to 6%. The foundation of a successful nursing career is a lifelong commitment to education. That implies that a commitment to lifelong learning is not a luxury but a must for providing excellent patient care. The learning process doesn’t end once you pass your final test or finish the last clinical rotation. While scrubs have replaced textbooks, there is always room for improvement in nursing.
What Role Does Lifelong Learning Have in Healthcare?
Every aspect of our lives requires continuous learning. Advances in technology and research are continuously changing how healthcare professionals practice. Lifelong learning ensures the delivery of high-quality patient care. To deliver the best treatment, you must keep up with technology. You will get new insights to help treat your patients with the best methods possible. Lifelong learning also enables you to meet the educational requirements to maintain your licenses. For example, registered nurses (RNs) must complete continuing education units (CEUs) to remain licensed.
CEUs keep professionals current so that they can share best practices with patients. Lifelong learning also broadens your skill set, leading to more career opportunities. The wider your knowledge base, the more valued you are as an employee. Developing proper skills and regular upskilling opens doors to several career paths. As a result, you have more opportunities to advance in your profession. Furthermore, with lifelong learning, you can understand emerging healthcare issues. You will understand treatment options, preventative measures, and emerging concerns.
What Impact Does Lifelong Learning Have on Employment Options?
Your professional performance depends on your commitment to continuing education. For instance, a bachelor’s degree may increase your chances of getting a job. It may be the bare minimum for entry-level nursing positions. Employers also recognize the value of lifelong learning. They often seek individuals willing to learn, open to new experiences, and want to improve their skills. Furthering your studies offers you a competitive edge, making you more attractive.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports that 82% of businesses prefer recruiting nurses with a bachelor’s degree. You may later specialize in a subject that suits your interests and lifestyle. Specialized certifications boost your career prospects and prove your commitment to study. Healthcare institutions maintain track of their staff members’ certification and continuous education. As a result, many healthcare facilities want to increase the number of certified workers. Certification in your field increases your employability and shows prospective employers that you value learning and development.
Furthermore, lifelong learning can increase job security. Currently, robots are replacing many operations in the healthcare sector. If you do not adapt to these changes, your position might become vulnerable to layoffs.
Which Method of Delivery Is Best for Your Education?
Online courses are becoming popular despite the challenges of managing work and school. Pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree is a significant life decision requiring a significant investment of time and money. Your preferred learning method will dictate the appropriate way to advance your profession. Here are a few of the more common options for nursing CEUs that may appeal to a broader range of students:
- Online courses allow nurses to fulfill their required continuing education hours when and when it is most practical for them. The nurses who want to study at their own pace will find them to be a great resource.
- Attending CME conferences from sites like CoatConnect allows nurses to connect with peers and learn from industry leaders. They are ideal for nurses who know best in a collaborative setting.
- Webinars are similar to MOOCs in structure but are generally shorter and more topic-specific. These are perfect for busy nurses who must quickly brush up on a specific topic.
- Self-study courses are often printed or online. These are ideal for nurses who have time and wish to study more about a particular issue.
Successful nurses understand the value of industry news and continual education. It provides opportunities for career advancement and personal growth. As the healthcare industry evolves and changes, you must continue to update your knowledge and skills. Nurses must also commit to lifelong learning to maintain their professional licenses. Notably, Better patient outcomes and longer careers result from a dedication to continual learning. Therefore, online nursing programs provide easier access to this ever-present data flood.
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