Nurse practitioners are licensed nurses with additional training in performing advanced duties, such as examining patients and prescribing medication. NPs can be generalists or specialize in one type of care, such as neonatal care, adult care, family health care, pediatrics or psychiatry, to name a few. All NPs must fulfill the NP licensure requirements for the state in which they work, which typically includes a master's or doctoral degree and completing continuing education hours or units on a regular basis.
Continuing Education Options for Nurse Practitioners
Nurse practitioners have several options for completing continuing education requirements. They can take courses at colleges and universities and receive college credit. They can also attend classes and workshops held by professional organizations, such as the Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation (NPHF), which often result in continuing education units. Other ways to earn continuing education units include:
- Attending professional workshops
- Preparing and presenting educational materials
- Authoring articles and books
- Completing volunteer services
Finding Accredited Courses
Some states mandate that NPs take continuing education courses from regionally accredited schools or from courses or programs accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the Accreditation Council on Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). NPs can find information on accredited programs from these organizations. Additionally, NPs can go right to professional organizations, like the NPHF, to find the most current accredited and non-accredited continuing education courses they offer.
Nurse practitioner continuing education courses provide NPs the opportunity to improve their skills and keep current on changes in medical technologies and policies. A few sample continuing education courses for NPs in various areas include:
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