Free CE courses

 Nursing is one of the fields that are constantly evolving with new care, treatment, and technology options. There are even frequent changes in protocols. Nursing continuing education courses help nurses to stay current on latest and best practices. Nurses after CE become more about their particular areas of interest.  It is also a way to earn Continuing Education Units (CEU, a requirement to maintain licensures and certifications in some states.  For instance, registered nurses in Kansas USA should complete 30 contact hours after every two years to maintain licensure and RN certification.  A contact hour is equal to 50-60 minutes of instruction at a board-approved nursing activity or class. One CEU equals 10 contact hours. 

The credentials earned during CE courses help demonstrate the additional qualification in addition to academic certificates to employers and patients.  Staying on top of nursing CEUs is important. It has become mandatory almost everywhere for nurses to engage in CE because of the licensure requirements or demands by the employer. 

 As the requirement for CE increases, more training opportunities are making the cost competitive and affordable. Nurses no longer need to pay too much for CE, and there are even many places offering it free. 

Free CE Courses Providers

If you are considering a great career in future nursing, try many CE courses as you can. The cost is not prohibitive as there are many free online course providers that you can complete all the units online. Most of the classes cover similar topics as the traditional college courses but are without cost. You can learn about the latest developments in nursing field without taking a break from work.  Some universities are now providing free CE courses online as a way of getting visibility and connecting with nurses who might be searching for advanced degree programs. 

Examples of Free CE Courses

These are some of the free continuing education courses providers. 

  1. Nurse.com  

 Nurse.com has a library of free RN courses.  There is a provision to subscribe for unlimited CE membership allowing access to more than 700 courses. It is a place to get plenty of education units. 

Some of the free courses you will find at Nurse.com library are: 

  • An evidence-based approach to pain control 
  • International travel 
  • Recognizing drug-seeking behavior  
  • International travel

 2. American Association of Critical Care Nurses 

AACCN offers free unlimited CE hours for over 300 offerings in online CE activities library and access. The offers include access to the transcript records and continuing education certificates. 

 3. Penn State College of Medicine  

Penn State College provides continuing education for nurses, physician, and allied health personnel. Education is evidence based on medical topics. This college is credible as it has accreditation with commendation by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. It the recognition of the highest level in the accreditation process, allowing a continuing medical education term of six years. 

Offline Free CE Courses

There are still options for online CE courses during this highly digital age. You can get CE course materials in the printed form delivered by mail or at live seminars. The options depend on the personal preferences, cost, accessibility, and availability of the nurse. However, offline options are running into various drawbacks.  For instance, seminars are not cheap.  

The most significant convenience for online studying is that you can find the content at the time you are free. Other methods require taking time off from work and even traveling to the location.  The CE course might be free, but you incur the cost of traveling or preceding the payments for the time you miss work. There is also the strain to spend time away from the usual environment. 

In the modern world, courses in printed materials and mailing test papers seem to be an outdated method.  Reading courses gives the advantage of receiving an instant electronic certificate saving time, postage costs, and paper.  If reading printed courses are your preference, you can print out attractive copies from the many websites by course providers.

Other Options to Free CE Courses

If you lack an opportunity to find CE courses that contribute to licensure. You can enroll for those that require payment if you work for a large hospital or is part of a union that pays to send nurses for training sessions and conferences. Their interest is to make nurses learn about the latest technologies and therapies, and in the process, they fulfill CEU requirements. Ask if your employer offers these benefits and use them to upgrade your skills and fulfill obligations for renewing of your practicing license. 

Applying for various CE and professional development scholarships is another route to get free courses.  Networking with other nurses and asking where they get their units helps to learn places to get free CE courses. It is especially essential when finding concentrations in specific areas that your state requires for license maintenance. 

Finding Free CE Courses Accepted by State Board

Certain CE activities might add value to nursing but fail to get recognition by accrediting bodies.  There might not be uniformity in the continuing education courses because of a difference in the requirements by accrediting bodies.  Some courses only get approval in some states.   To be on point, start by checking the approval or accreditation requirements for your state to protect wastage of time taking courses that will not earn any recognition. It might even cause a lapse of your license if you know that the CE courses are not enough to earn a renewal when it is already time for that.  

When considering the status of recognition keeps it in mind that some states require continuing education to include specific courses. For example, New York requires participation in a course that identifies and reports child abuse and Washington requires HIV class.  Ensure that any free CEs you find in these states involve participation in the mandatory areas or you will not add much value as recognition of the courses will be partial or non-existent.  

Another situation that you need to weigh is CE requirements that participants learn about advanced cardiac life support, basic life support, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation just to maintain a nursing license.  These certifications might only be considered as part of in-service training that might not contribute towards CEUs, but you should not avoid them because of licensure. 

Free CE courses are cost saving but always pay attention to learning objectives, so the scope helps to enhance your understanding. 

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