Psychiatric nursing can be a very rewarding nursing field and also a very stressful one at the same time. In addition to dealing with many different types of illnesses that primarily affect how a person behaves, these nurses have to stay abreast of the ever-changing world of mental illnesses and the various treatment options. This is one reason for psychiatric nursing continuing education requirements.
If you are a psychiatric nurse, these requirements not only help you stay certified, they help keep you on the cutting edge of your field.
Finding Psychiatric Nurse Certification Classes
The best way to find courses that meet the requirements for psychiatric nursing CEUs is to stay in contact with the American Psychiatric Nursing Association (APNA). The APNA is a wealth of information for nurses that work in the psychiatric field and has detailed information on seminars, courses and online classes that can be used to fulfill the requirements for annual recertification.
You can also check with your local community colleges and universities to find out if they have nursing programs and offer continuing education courses. This is a good way to get classes in that can further your degree in the future while at the same time fulfilling your CEU requirements. You can easily earn several course credits going this route.
You should also join psychiatric nursing organizations and other nursing organizations. These groups often host seminars and luncheons that are educational and help you accumulate CEUs toward your annual requirement. In addition, these groups are an excellent resource for all things related to your nursing career.
Because addiction is considered a mental illness you may also be able to find seminars and lectures at rehabilitation facilities. These facilities staff psychiatric nurses and work to keep them educated in the disease of addiction. These courses not only help you attain your CEUs but may also provide you a glimpse of another side of psychiatric nurses.
Type of Classes
As a nurse you have a busy schedule and when you aren’t on call or at work you probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about work. However, since you do have to be recertified to continue to practice, you have to find the most convenient ways to get your continuing education units in without tiring yourself out in the process. Thankfully, there are many different ways to do so, including:
Online Courses: There are many different online courses that count towards your CEUs. These courses allow you to watch and test at your own pace, in your own time. Some are paid courses and some are actually free. You may have to do more of these type courses to get your hours in than you would if you attended a class, but if your time is an issue, these online courses could be the best answer.
Seminars: There are many nursing seminars that are available, either through the nursing associations previously mentioned or even through your employer. Hospitals and other medical facilities will often host nursing seminars to introduce new techniques or medications to the staff. These seminars typically meet the criteria for being counted toward CEUs. You should make sure of this and if the seminars do meet the criteria, be sure you get the documentation you need to turn in for your license renewal.
College Classes: If you are planning on furthering your degree you can often count many of your college courses toward your continuing education credits. You should check with the licensing board in your state to determine which ones will be accepted and how many credit units are awarded for each class.
Studies in Continuing Education for Psychiatric Nursing
Psychiatric nurses may be employed in a variety of healthcare settings, from family therapy to in-patient mental health facilities to drug and alcohol rehabilitation make the topics covered varied and can greatly expand your nursing knowledge outside of your area of practice. You can find courses on such topics as:
- Alzheimer’s and Dementia
- Drug Abuse
- Adolescent Dating
- Peer Pressure
- Compulsive Disorders
As you can see, you can broaden your nursing horizons while at the same time earning your CEUs. This could lead you to change your area of practice and move in a whole new direction.
Psychiatric nursing continuing education courses are required in order to remain a practicing nurse. However, they also allow you to delve deeper into areas of your practice that you might not have known about and learn more about how to help your patients.