Stay present in the nursing profession

Nurse Leader Insider, January 12, 2009

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Experts tell us that what we know today will be outdated in three to seven years, so it becomes imperative that we stay up-to-date. Here are some tips to keep your nursing knowledge current:

Attend conferences. Although conferences can be a bit expensive to attend, they can accomplish a lot in a small amount of time. Many specialty conferences provide a track for clinical updates, and some even hold certification review classes. Ask at your facility whether there is money in the budget for you to attend a conference. Many facilities plan for such events. As a condition of attendance, your manager may ask you to present the information you learned at a staff meeting so that others can benefit from what you learned. Here are some creative ideas for doing so:

  • Posters: They don't have to be exceptionally artistic. They just need to present the information in a visual way.
  • Handouts or self-study packets: Gather enough extra handouts from the sessions you attended and make a packet of information that you can leave on the unit for others to read. Create a few questions from the information as a "post-test." This will get the information out and allow people to refer to it when they have the time. 

Subscribe to (and read) professional journals. When your nursing journals arrive in the mail, make time to sit down and browse through the table of contents. Look for articles that intrigue you or that are relevant to what's going on in your professional life. Many journals provide continuing education credits for reading an article, completing a post-test, and mailing it in.

Join committees. Especially those that work on policies/procedures, and/or organize educational offerings to the staff. Many organizations are linking their policies to evidence, so by joining and participating on these committees, you will learn by doing. Read the current literature and research to link it to a policy or procedure.


Editor's note: This excerpt is from Stressed Out About Your Nursing Career. Check out our most popular nursing resources here.

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