With a month or less of summer left, we know many instructors fill summer with assessing new resources, planning for the coming year and attending conferences. We'd like to make another suggestion if you find yourself with a little extra time during long summer evenings: get your CE credits out of the way!
Did you know Patricia Thomas did a Ted Talk on Nursing Education? Being a huge fan of Ted Talks, I'm amazed I never came across this before. Check out her wonderful presentation here:
Instructors work hard -- really hard! -- during the school year so a nice, long summer break is well earned. However, it doesn't hurt to spend just a few vacation hours during those three months to brush up on a few new skills.
One of our employees recently had to renew her nursing license and found herself stuck looking for continuing education credits to complete. It's amazing how quickly renewal years can sneak up and how elusive CE credits can be.
Has anyone out there heard of Learners TV? Apparently there's a whole website out there with online lectures and videos on different topics... for free.
With the advent of Electronic Health Records, the entire medical profession is suddenly being confronted with a unique set of questions, problems and concerns. Want to know what it all means? We found this great, free course on Coursera offered by the Georgia Institute of Technology for anyone who might be interested: Health Informatics in the Cloud.
We posted about using Coursera.org to improve computer skills in the past, but we wanted to revisit the topic in regards to online education. Massive open online courses (MOOC), like Coursera, offer students the ability to enroll in and attend classes online for free. There's no limit to the amount of students per course but based on personal experience you can get a very individualized education.
So if you've been out of school for a while and your NCLEX seems like nothing more than a dream (or nightmare!) from long ago, here are some classes that might help you refresh your medical knowledge. Or, just learn about a new area and new advances.
Contraception: Choices, Culture and Consequences offered by Jerusalem Mokonnen, RN, MSN, FNP offered through University of California: Learn about the wide range of contraceptive methods, and the public health implications related to access to information and choices about reproductive health.
Escpecially good for women's center or labor and delivery nurses.
Antimicrobial Stewardship: Optimization of Antibiotic Practices offered by Stan Deresinski, MD through Stanford: This course will offer a practical approach to prescribing antibiotic therapy and development of antimicrobial stewardship across all specialties and settings.
How are antibiotics really impacting our patients?
Diabetes: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Opportunities offered by B. Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD and Lisa A. Kroon through University of California: This multidisciplinary course will emphasize the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. Topics will include patient self-management, appropriate use of technologies, nutrition, behavior modification and pharmacotherapy in the management of this disease. The course will conclude by summarizing new basic science research regarding the pathophysiology and treatment of diabetes.
A deeper look at Diabetes.
I'm a huge fan of Coursera.org, a company that allows students to take any number of courses for free. There are hundreds (I couldn't find an exact count, but possibly even thousands) of courses offered for no charge by professors all over the worlds from institutions including Michigan State, Peking University and Stanford. An unlimited number of students can sign up for each class and all work is done online.
I realize most people reading this blog are either Nursing Instructors, Administrators or students -- meaning you're already paying for, or have paid for, a college education. However, learning doesn't need to stop in the nursing classroom.
Especially when technology is involved. I know many people have mentioned being less equipped for electronic charting than they would like, mainly because they have little computer experience. By taking one of these classes, you can learn about whatever subject you'd like while getting computer experience, just by virtue of the fact the class is online.
However, I'm listing to computer classes specifically below:
Internet History, Technology, and Security offered by Charles Severance through Michigan State University: What is the Internet? How was it created? How does it work? How to we secure communications on the Internet?
Because EHR Tutor is an internet based program just like many learning management systems, we thought this course would be a relevant crash course in the thing that has brought computers this far: the internet.
Computer Science 101 offered by Nick Parlante through Stanford University: CS101 teaches the essential ideas of Computer Science for a zero-prior-experience audience. The course uses small coding experiments in the browser to play with the nature of computers, understanding their strengths and limitations. Sign up for the "To be announced" session to be notified by email when the class is next run, and sign up for "Self-Study" to start browsing the class materials right away. Self-Study mode makes all the videos and assignments available to be done at your own pace, but without a certificate of completion at the end.
This class is a great introduction to computers after you have the on/off button and mouse usage down. For a new computer user, this is a way to really understand the machine you'll be relying upon at your job.
And for those of you on the fence about Coursera, it only takes a few seconds to create an account and sign up for a course. There's no commitment of any sort and you can leave the class at any time if you decide it's not for you.We love the fact we can now continue education without paying a dime!