Why not make continuing education exciting?
As nurses we signed up for being life-long learners, right? Remember in nursing school when it was so exciting to practice a new procedure on a real person or get a chance to check out the latest technology? I still remember getting checked-off on giving my first injection! I was nervous yet it was a thrilling accomplishment!
Jazz yourself up! You worked hard to become a Nurse and you are a professional. This is a huge accomplishment! And with it comes a professional obligation to continue learning. It is just as much an honor as it is an ongoing commitment. Isn’t it? Try preparing for your next online course or inservice at work with a few minutes of affirming self-talk, deep-breathing, or journaling where you connect with your highest self and purpose. You are a nurse, you are a life-long learner! I am a nurse. I am a life-long learner!
Be assertive! Figure out what you’d like to learn more about and go after it. They’ll always be mandatory stuff, but it doesn’t have to end there, does it? Is there a course that will help you learn more about your current patient population? What dreams for specializing do you have? What new med is being ordered that I should know more about? Do some research, talk with your supervisor, and make it known what you’re interested in and see if your organization can help sponsor a speaker or an online course. Budgets are tight, but don’t let that stop you. Even if the answer is known you’ll be letting others know what you are interested in. This may have all sorts of rippling effects that you won’t know about. You are surrounded by a goldmine of expertise and you’ll never know what opportunities will arise from networking and putting yourself ‘out there’.
Self-organize with your peers! Wherever you work there is probably some meeting or teaching space that you could use if you asked. You may have some similar and different interests from your colleagues. Why not set aside some time and take turns reviewing an article or inviting local guest speakers to share their expertise, get copies of an interesting article or book and meet together as a group to discuss it, involve the education department if there is one or other leaders. This spring, our colleague, Elizabeth Scala is hosting “Art of Nursing 2.0” and you can save money by getting a group together during nurses’s week. I was on the faculty last year and blogged a lot about the first one and we always thought it would be super if bedside nurses were thinking big and making it happen!
Check out what Nurse Bloggers are saying about Continuing Education!
This post was written as part of the Nurse Blog Carnival.