Becoming a nurse takes hours of education and dedication. In order to maintain your nursing license, you will have to obtain Continuing Education Units, also known as CEUs. This requirement doesn’t change for traveling nurses, however, it can get more complicated. Different states have different requirements. No one is going to remind you what you need and when it needs to be done. It is important to understand what is required for continuing education for traveling nurses.
Licensing in Every State a Traveling Nurse Works
Unfortunately, each state has its own requirements for continuing education. One state might require a certain number of CEUs every two years while a different state might require a lesser amount of CEUs every year. You will want to utilize your travel nurse agency. They should be able to help you understand each of the state’s requirements.
Along with obtaining the proper amount of CEUs many states also require background checks, fingerprinting and/or have a fee in order to renew a license. It is important to keep all of that in mind when accepting travel nursing assignments, as it can get quite costly.
Compact Nursing License
A compact nursing license is a great option. If it is available it only requires you to maintain the CEU requirements from your home state. Although, be aware that there can occasionally be mandatory classes that those states require, even if they are part of the compact states.
The difference is that the amount you will need should be significantly less, due to the compact license counting the CEUs you acquire for your home state. That state may just have a particular topic, that is unique to their state, that they want every nurse to have some education in.
Accredited Continuing Education for Traveling Nurses
As with most things in life, there are good products out there and bad ones. When it comes to CEUs there are accredited providers and providers who are not. Accredited providers have been vetted through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, also know as ANCC. A provider who has been approved by the ANCC has passed their very high standards.
In order to save yourself the frustration of some of your CEUs not being accepted in some states always earn CEUs from accredited providers.
Fortunately, many traveling nurse agencies will offer free continuing education for traveling nurses and/or reimburse you for the cost to obtain those CEUs. They do not usually reimburse for the licensing fees. However, you do have the option of negotiating that into your contract.
If you have to earn CEUs on your own there are tons of ways to earn your CEUs. Many hospitals offer Continuing Education Units and are usually free. National Nursing Organizations also offer many opportunities. Also, there are many websites that offer online CEUs. Just be sure you choose a website that has been accredited.
We all have super busy lives and obtaining continuing education units for traveling nurses can be a pain. However, it is important that you keep up with all the healthcare changes. As procedures evolve it is essential that people in the field of medicine keep up with those changes. CEUs help you gain the necessary knowledge and improve your nursing practices. That knowledge gives you the ability to offer your patients the best care possible. And that is really what it is all about, helping patients in their time of need and making them as comfortable as possible.