Continuing education is a crucial aspect of licensed careers, and travel nursing is no exception! Travel nurses come from a variety of backgrounds and work for an independent staffing agency. They are especially vital in the face of nursing shortages - healthcare facilities often fill vacancies by hiring travel nurses. Continuing education ensures that your skills are current, you’re up-to-date on the latest industry trends and could make you more desirable to future employees.
But how do you continue your education as a travel nurse? Do you have to go for another nursing degree? Here are some ways that travel nurses can continue their education:
As a travel nurse, you are already a registered nurse (RN), but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue your education. If you are a nurse with your Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN), you may consider returning to school to pursue your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). This is a practical choice for many registered nurses.
A BSN is becoming the new standard for many RN careers including in hospitals and other healthcare organizations. BSN nurses are more likely to be hired for a wide range of nursing careers, especially in management and leadership.
However, if you are already a BSN, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still learn new skills!
Continuing Education Unit
The Board of Nursing will issue options for nurses to expand their knowledge through continuing education units (CEUs). These courses may help you to advance your knowledge, meet possible educational certification requirements and provide better patient care. The nursing industry is constantly changing so these courses can help you keep up with the latest trends and best practices. If cost or location is a concern, many courses and webinars are offered online and some are free.
Not all classes are created equal — be cautious when enrolling. CEUs are closely monitored by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) so make sure that the channel, speaker, presentations, modules and more are coming from an approved ANCC-accredited program.
Many nurses will choose to pursue specific certifications to boost their resumes and create new opportunities in their field. It also provides nurses the chance to pursue specific career passions, expand on their existing experiences or look at a path they’ve always been curious about. Some of the more common certification options for travel nurses include:
As a travel nurse, you can choose to explore a variety of other certifications and specialties based on your interests.
How do I find these opportunities?
Continuing education, educational units and specializations may sound like great opportunities, but you could still be wondering: how do I access these resources?
Your travel nursing agency is an invaluable resource and should be able to help you locate new opportunities! Other options also include:
- Exploring school resources. Many schools, like Herzing University, offer career development support for all students and graduates. This means you can still reach out with questions and ask for additional help even after you’ve graduated. If you are interested in continuing your education Herzing offers many exciting pathway programs to help you stay on your career trajectory and move to the role that’s right for you. For example, you can easily earn your BSN online or transition to a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree.
- Locating online resources. Whether you are looking for a local conference or seeking to enroll in a certification program, it may be challenging for travel nurses to schedule ahead. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to complete things online. Many courses have been digitized for ease of access and use; be sure to make the most of your resources!
- Connecting with other travel nurses. Network, network, network! Other nurses are or have been in similar situations and can provide you with valuable insight, information and things to avoid. They may also be able to connect you with a key contact, tell you about a specific course you should take, invite you to a local conference or offer study help. The nursing industry is an amazing community of caregivers that want to see you succeed; they are there to support you and can help facilitate your continuing educational journey!