In order to improve the quality of health care and to keep up with the constantly changing technology, all types of nurses are required to obtain continuing education credits. It is important for all registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants to submit proof of their continuing education credits to the state nursing board in order for their licenses or certifications to remain in good standing.
Certified nursing assistants (CNA) are individuals tasked to assist patients with their activities of daily living (ADL). Their responsibilities include feeding and grooming the patients, recording vital signs, and transporting patients. A certified nursing assistant is an important part of the health care team so it is vital for them to pursue continued education for them to further increase their knowledge and remain competitive in their chosen field. In most states, CNAs are required to complete 48 hours of CNA-related continuing education courses every 2 years in order for current CNAs to renew their certification. In states such as California, 24 hours out of the 48 hours required for continued education may be taken online. Some continuing education courses for CNAs include anatomy, physiology, basic life support, pediatric CPR, first aid, laboratory analysis and ECG.
Licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN or LVN) assist registered nurses and attending physicians in providing bedside care for the patients. Some of their duties include administering injections, applying and changing wound dressings, and recording vital signs. Every state requires that all LPNs/LVNs finish one year of classroom education and clinical training prior to taking the NCLEX-PN examinations for their license. In order for them to renew their license, LPNs are required to complete their state-required hours of continuing education. Continuing education will provide LPNs the knowledge and expertise to further advance their career level in their profession. The required number of hours for continuing education varies by state. In most cases, 30 contact hours of continuing education every two years is required to maintain an active license status. Approved continuing education for LPNs may be taken at a college, technical school or online. Some of the accepted courses for LPN continuing education are infection control, crisis intervention, ECG, substance abuse and pain management guidelines. LPNs taking the RN program pre-requisite courses or are already in a nursing school’s RN program may use their courses to serve as their continuing education.
Registered nurses (RNs) are in the front lines of patient care. They serve as both caregivers and educators to their patients. This is why it is extremely important for RNs to fulfill their continuing education requirements or to go back to school to pursue a higher nursing education. Registered nurses are required to have 30 hours of continuing education every 2 years to maintain their active licenses and to be approved for renewal. The continuing education provider and the courses must be approved by the Board. Acceptable continuing education courses include advanced courses in the sciences, direct and indirect patient care courses and regular college courses that meet the Board requirements.