How continuing education can benefit nurses and their careers

How continuing education can benefit nurses and their careers

Those who pursue a career in healthcare will encounter various exciting challenges and will face a diverse series of problems and patients. Nurses handle the medical care of patients and assist physicians in any possible capacity. Because their role includes being directly involved with the patient, they need to stay up to date with all that is going on in the healthcare field.

Throughout their careers, nurses will be continuously learning and developing, exploring new topics, and opening doors to different aspects of career progression. In this guide, we will discuss the ways that nurses engage with further education to stay on top of their current role, and to make sure that they can prepare for any next steps in their career – both inside and outside of the classroom.

Lifelong learners and the pursuit of classroom education

Nurses will often pursue higher levels of education to find opportunities to advance in their career. This also goes beyond the standard nursing degrees. Nurses are needed in more than just a clinical setting, and there are several ways of using your clinical practice and soft skills to transition your career into other areas of the nursing field. One such example is making the move into leadership roles.

Nurse leaders are required to have great medical knowledge in addition to the soft skills required to be an excellent leader (such as effective communication, compassion and problem-solving ability). However, such attributes are not merely obtained at birth, or even learned through basic training and for most individuals, excellent leadership skills will be best developed by obtaining a formal qualification, such as by enrolling in a DNP leadership program. Further study is a great way for nurses to ensure that they have all the right skills when stepping into a leadership role. The online program offered by Baylor University, for example, offers courses such as ‘Resource Attainment and Allocation’ and ‘Creating Excellence in Professional Practice Environments’ that should cover vital practices in leadership – whether in hospitals or in commercial operations. 

After finishing this program, nurses’ education will continue. The world is a classroom, and every day is an opportunity for nurses to learn something new about the healthcare field, build practical experience, and further develop their skills and abilities.

The ability to quickly adapt to new healthcare advances

Being on the frontline of healthcare means that it is imperative to stay up to date with current trends. One of the main benefits of lifelong learning is that nurses will more easily be able to understand and quickly apply new advances in healthcare. Some of these advances may include that of technology. Implementing new technologies allows nurses to set a new example for their fellows and can help to benefit the patients that are in their care. 

The advances may also apply to nurses in various fields. Whether as a general emergency nurse or in a practice that focuses on a specific field, nurses can set themselves apart from the others as a lifelong learner. It will allow them to share their ideas and approaches with physicians and doctors to improve the patient’s overall healthcare experience.

Enhanced patient care and safety

Nurses who adopt the lifelong learning approach will benefit not only themselves, but also the patients they treat. They will be able to learn something that can be applied immediately – including to patients they are treating regularly. The goal is to make sure that the patient is cared for while taking note of their health and safety.

It is important to be mindful of the patient’s medical history and current conditions. This will be a huge aspect of making sure that they are receiving the best care safely while avoiding any complications that may arise.

The ability to meet regulatory requirements

In the healthcare field, following regulations is paramount as it is tied to the safety, security, and wellbeing of patients. Every nurse must be aware of the regulations that exist. At the same time, they must know about any changes in regulations, or even new policies that could arise in the future.

It is important to make sure that your healthcare facility follows the necessary regulations. Failure to do so can lead to legal repercussions, including heavy fines, sanctions, and other disciplinary actions. Nurses could be unable to practice if they are in direct violation of healthcare regulations themselves.

Take the time to familiarize yourself with regulations such as HIPAA and others. Also, it is important to look out for any regulation changes that could arise in the future. Physicians and administrators of a healthcare facility will usually be made aware of this first, so they can inform others such as nurses and administrative staff.

Professional growth and career advancement is possible

Being a lifelong learner is the key to a person growing as a professional whilst taking charge of their career trajectory. There are many ways to advance careers and it’s important for nurses to really think about and consider their next goals. What are their lifelong goals? Do they want to teach the nurses of the future? Or do they want to continue serving patients in a medical setting and lead innovative teams of healthcare professionals?

Lifelong learning is a great way of ensuring that these goals can be reached.

Lifelong learning can enable you to reach your nursing career goals

It takes a willingness to learn and grow to make any nursing career a successful one. Although there are educational opportunities through several different universities online, others exist outside of the classroom.

For those who aspire to reach a higher level in the nursing field, it is possible to reach it. By making lifelong learning part of their intrinsic goals, nurses can look back with pride at the goals they’ve accomplished and can help to lead the next generation of excellent healthcare professionals.