The nursing industry is a rewarding area of health care that makes a great career path for many people. There’s an immense amount of responsibility tied to being a nurse, however. People rely on your help and expertise everyday to keep them safe and healthy. This is why you must understand the importance of earning your Continuing Education Units to keep you engaged and up-to-date on the latest developments in your industry.
Keeping up with your CEUs isn’t just something to think about when you’re at your home location. If you want to take part in the exciting career of travel nursing, you’ll need to maintain your CEU schedule, even when you’re on the road for a new assignment.
Working with the right travel nursing staffing agency can make this process easier for you, helping you to connect with the resources you need to stay current with your CEUs. Here are some of the things you need to know about earning your CEUs while on assignment:
Licensing state to state
In some cases, you may need another license to practice in a new state when you get assigned there. That means you can end up having multiple licenses to update with your CEUs. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing provides a Nurse Licensure Compact that applies to half of the states in the U.S. If you get licensed in one of these NLC states, you can practice with that same registration in any of the other NLC states as well. If you’re eligible, attaining an NLC license will make it easier for you to stay updated with your CEUs.
Other states will require separate licenses, however, or will require supplemental license requirements if your home state had different mandates. In these cases, you can save yourself time by earning CEUs that apply to each license you need to update, rather than fulfilling different credits to apply to each individually.
Finding CEU opportunities on assignment
It may seem daunting to find ways to earn CEUs when you’re in a new area and practicing with an unfamiliar facility, but the process won’t be much different than earning your credits at home. The medical center you work in will likely host a number of programs itself to help its nurses earn their units in seminars and workshops. They can also help sponsor you for a conference you’re particularly interested in attending.
“You may find online courses to earn the CEUs you need.”
You may find online courses to earn the CEUs you need. This can be especially beneficial if you’re near the end of an assignment and know you’ll be at your next location before you can finish the course you’re in. Most online programs will allow you to finish in another state, so you can take your coursework with you when you go. All Nursing Schools added that you may even be able to complete non-nursing activities to earn units, as long as you verify beforehand that they’ll still count for you.
Of course, it’s important to always check the state board of nursing of your current location, and that of your next location if you know where it will be, before enrolling in an online program for CEUs. That way, you can be sure the classes you start will still be relevant when you finish.
In general, never assume that the requirements you met in one state will be applicable in another, Travel Nursing advised. Always check with each state board or with your staffing agency to confirm you’re meeting the necessary prerequisites to keep your license up-to-date.