You have completed nursing school and received your certification. You got a job in scrub jackets which permits you to use your new skills. Are you now supposed to start taking classes again? Nowadays nurses are expected to take continuing education every year to re-qualify for their licenses, no matter what their level. The number of hours you must take varies from state to state. However, taking continuing education classes has never been easier. Local hospitals often offer on-site classes at no charge. Local universities, community colleges, trade schools and also online nursing schools offer classes all year long. If you elect this option, be sure that the school you choose is accredited by the organization which issues your license. Another way to obtain the requisite continuing education, which is more time-consuming and expensive but also more fun, is to attend medical conferences. Medical conferences frequently offer continuing education programs for the duration of the conference and since medical conferences are often held in great vacation destinations such as Hawaii or Las Vegas, you can enjoy yourself after classes at a beach or poolside.
The online continuing education option is perhaps the most practical for most people in scrub pants. You can study anywhere that there is internet access, any time, at your own convenience. Online bachelor of nursing programs enable RN’s to complete the education requirements needed to re-qualify for licensing, as well as to enhance their skills in order to provide better patient care, and to qualify for career advancement opportunities. A BS in nursing is essential for some jobs, such as case management and supervisory positions. It also provides a foundation for future graduate nursing studies. Some nursing specialty programs available online include legal nurse consulting, for RN’s who work for law firms or insurance companies. This program teaches nurses how to analyze and review medical records, perform legal and medical research, interview expert witnesses, and aid attorneys with trial information. Another program is forensic nursing, which entails using nursing skills in criminal investigation.
Nurses in this twelve-month program learn how to identify the causes of injuries and death, to collect evidence and to help victims to follow up care. Life care planning is a specialty involved in helping patients with major disabilities or chronic medical conditions in their homes. Case management nursing is a specialty involving monitoring medical, financial, and social aspects of health care services for patients and their families. Case management nurses learn how to perform assessments, to conduct research, to analyze data, to manage patients’ health care and services, and where to buy scrubs. Opportunities for case management nursing lie in public health departments, worker’s compensation and other insurance carriers, long term care facilities, and social and human services agencies. The wide variety of nursing specialties available online, besides their flexibility and convenience, makes this continuing education option particularly attractive.