Online Continuing Education for Nurses
Online continuing education programs may be offered to registered nurses (RN) who wish to maintain or reinstate licensure, or to advance their nursing careers. Keep reading for more details about continuing education opportunities, online learning and graduate education options.
What Is Available in Continuing Education For Nurses?
Your state's board of nursing determines the rules for maintaining your nursing license, but a common requirement for active licensure is earning continuing education credits. You'll find continuing education courses offered in a multitude of areas, but you'll want to take courses that address your focus area or that develop an area in which you are deficient. Continuing education courses are typically short, lasting just a few hours.
You can take courses in areas such as administrative nursing issues, medical conditions or patient care. Among the possible administrative courses you can take are managing patient records, legal issues in nursing and informatics. Examples of medical conditions covered by continuing education courses include cancer, Alzheimer's disease, autism and cardiovascular disease. Patient care topics may include working with diverse cultures, pain management, long-term care and issues regarding aging.
|Continuing Education Courses||Patient care, medical conditions, administrative nursing issues|
|Online Study||Readily available online; computer support often available|
|Graduate Options||Specialization options available; preparation for leadership, administrative, educator and advanced practice nurse roles|
|Median Salary (2018)||$113,930 (for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners)*|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||31% growth (for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Are These Courses Available Online?
You'll find continuing education courses and degree programs for nurses readily available through online study. In an online program, you'll take the same courses you'd find in a campus-based program. The convenience of online study allows you to complete courses and seminars on your own schedule, taking courses asynchronously and at a pace that suits your life. This means that you can pursue your studies without interrupting your nursing career. Online continuing education programs for nurses often have support available if you have limited computer experience.
What Graduate Options Can I Pursue?
In addition to continuing education courses, you can further your nursing education through graduate study. You'll typically pursue a graduate degree in order to change or advance your career, rather than to seek license renewal. Master's degree programs are available in a wide variety of fields, depending on your area of interest.
A Master of Science in Nursing will prepare you for a leadership, administrative or educator role in the nursing field. Alternatively, you can pursue a master's degree to become an advanced practice nurse; this advanced degree includes programs that train you to become a nurse anesthetist, nurse-midwife, clinical nurse specialist or nurse practitioner.