Your Continuing Education Checklist
Do you want to give your nursing career a new competitive edge? Consider looking into continuing education. Further training in your field can open up new opportunities for you, make you more attractive to potential employers, bump up your annual salary, and help you break into new specialties – but before you apply for a continuing education program, run it by our checklist to make sure it's the right fit for you.
■Is it accredited? Don't assume that all programs are. Without the proper accreditation, you could waste years or carefully saved dollars on training that most hospitals won't even look at.
■Will it help you perform your current job better? Browse through the course load to get an idea about what you will be learning. If it's nothing new, or nothing relevant, keep looking.
■Will it help you land the new position that you want? Maybe you are hoping to eventually find yourself in an entirely different department, or you want to be trained for a specific specialty. Find a program that helps push you in that direction.
■What is its reputation? Ask around to find other nurses who have completed the same program. What do they have to say about it? Was it worth it? You can also research the program online to get an idea of how others have benefited from its training.
■Does it provide the scheduling options you want? Some nurses might need part-time, evening, or online classes. Determine how much flexibility your family or work life require, and find the program that fits your need.
■Does the tuition fit your budget? Even the perfect continuing education program isn't perfect for you if you can't afford it. Don't compromise your financial stability when you don't need to. Find a program that won't break the bank.