Supporting Nurses with the Right Resources

The following guest post comes from Valerie Jaquith, Academic & Student Support Manager at EdAssist.

As an Educational Advisor with EdAssist, I often discuss educational pathways and opportunities with working nurses. These pathways can come in numerous forms: graduate-level degree programs, certificate programs, certifications, conferences, webinars, organization membership, training workshops, or continuing education units (CEU's).

These are all critical opportunities. As I mentioned earlier this week, nurses are the lifeblood of healthcare. Supporting their advancement and education does double duty, both saying thank you for their hard work and ensuring the quality of the hospitals they work for.

One key area of interest for today's nurses is leadership development. Those looking to advance their nursing staff should look to these top resources.

The American Organization of Nurse Executives

The AONE has a fantastic listing of educational opportunities and resources, with a yearly conference and well as certification prep, seminars, and a mentorship program, plus reports, publications and nursing leadership tools.

American Nurses Credentialing Center

Part of the American Nurses Association, the ANCC is a complete, one-stop shop for nursing certifications, certification preparation, and Magnet Recognition Program resources. Becoming board-certified through the ANCC is one of the best ways for a nurse to be widely recognized for leadership skills and training. The ANA is dedicated to empowering nurse leaders and has a plethora of information, webinars, conferences, as well as a continuing education catalog.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing

If a nurse is seeking a Master's degree or certificate program, the AACN is a great place to start. In addition to searching for CCNE-accredited colleges, nurses can also find data, publications, and educational resources, and learn how to become a certified Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL). More and more colleges are offering a track in nursing leadership or management or CNL within their MSN programs, and some are even offering specialized certificate programs that allow nurses greater flexibility to pursue their individual interests. Most certificate programs are range from 12 to 15 total credits, and many can be done completely online.

How Employers Can Support Nurse Education

Many nurses maintain extremely busy schedules, but with support and encouragement along the way there are many ways they can continue their education without breaking the bankor their sanity.

A healthcare organization's tuition reimbursement policy typically covers nursing degrees; some may cover certificates or even CEU's. It's certainly worth finding out. But even if your employer tuition program doesn't cover all of the resources listed above, I'd urge hospital HR professionals to share them. The encouragement an employer demonstrates by simply illuminating the possibilities - and showing faith in their nurses' potential - is alone invaluable.

A simple start like joining a webinar, list serve, or organization can help a nurse become a part of the prodigious movement toward leading the way in healthcare. And by association, that paves the way for you, their employer, to stay at the top of the pack. 
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