New requirements can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, nurses have options and can choose to complete their continuing education when and where it’s convenient for them.
West Bridgewater, MA (Vocus/PRWEB) March 08, 2011
The Illinois General Assembly enacted new regulations last year requiring nurses practicing in the state to complete 20 hours of continuing education every two years. The two-year cycle for LPNs began on Feb. 1, 2011 requiring all LPNS to complete their continuing education requirements by Jan. 31, 2013. The cycle for RNs began on June 1, 2010 and will end on May 31, 2012, giving RNs a little more than a year from now to complete the requirements. The rules affect more than 31,000 Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and 166,000 Registered Nurses (RNs) in the state.
As Illinois nurses prepare to meet these requirements, Western Schools, a leading accredited provider of continuing education in the healthcare field, is offering guidance and support to help nurses understand their continuing education needs and identify courses that meet the Illinois requirements.
“Continuing education gives nurses the opportunity to pursue their professional career goals by enhancing their current knowledge and skills, thus improving healthcare to the public,” said Amy B. Bernard, board-certified registered nurse and director of continuing education at Western Schools. “New requirements like these can often seem overwhelming to nurses who are already challenged with balancing their personal lives and professional careers. Fortunately, nurses have options and can choose to complete their continuing education when and where it’s convenient for them.”
There are many ways continuing education hours can be earned under the Illinois regulations: attending seminars or lecture presentations, completing home study or online courses, academic credits, and authoring journal articles or other publications. Bernard suggests nurses answer three questions to help select continuing education:
- Does your certification or job require that you complete continuing education focused on your specialty area, or do you have the option to choose topics outside of your specialty?
- What trends and best practices do you feel you need, or want, to learn more about?
- Are you planning to take time off from work to attend classes or seminars, or will you be completing home study on your own time, at your convenience?
Home study and online courses, like those offered by Western Schools, are low-cost and allow nurses to conduct their studies when it’s convenient for them, since courses can be taken online or in print formats. To ensure high quality, all Western Schools courses are developed by educators and content experts, and are put through a rigorous peer-review process.
“The in-depth content of Western Schools’ courses empowers nurses with essential information they can use to enrich their performance at the bedside and positively impact clinical outcomes for their patients,” Bernard said.
Although nurses can select from more than 2,000 contact hours, spanning 25 different nursing specialties, Western Schools offers nine courses that award exactly 20 contact hours, allowing Illinois nurses to fulfill their requirements by completing just one course. Based on the ANCC accreditation, Western Schools is a pre-approved continuing education provider for Illinois re-licensure.
Nurses can visit http://www.westernschools.com to view the continuing education topics offered in their discipline and state. Highly trained customer service representatives aware of Illinois licensing requirements are available to answer nurses’ questions about Western Schools’ courses at 1-800-618-1670.
About Western Schools
Western Schools is a leader in continuing education in the healthcare field, offering in-depth, peer-reviewed courses in nursing and behavioral health. Through our process of quality development and rigorous review, Western Schools offers healthcare professionals the highest quality, convenient, and affordable courses needed to fulfill their re-licensure, certification, and other professional education needs. As a nationally accredited continuing education provider, Western Schools offers more than 2,300 continuing education hours across more than 40 specialties in nursing and behavioral health. Since its founding in 1978, Western Schools has served more than 1 million practitioners through its commitment to the growth and lifelong learning of healthcare professionals. For more information about Western Schools visit http://www.westernschools.com __title__ Western Schools]
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