A CEU (continuing education unit) is a nationally recognized measurement method used to quantify a specific number of hours spent in continuing education study, which is designed to enhance an individual’s knowledge of their practice.
Those who are licensed in the health care profession (such as registered nurses) are generally required by their state to take a number of ongoing training and education courses, which are calculated using CEU’s.
CEU’s are calculated as 1.0 ceu for every 10 hours spent in continuing education study or 0.1 ceu’s for every 1 hour of study.
As the health care field and nursing industry continually change it is important for those who work in the health care profession to stay up to date with the newest health care information and maintain a certain level of competence and understanding in their field.
For nurses continuing education units provide them with an ongoing learning process which helps keep them in touch with the latest medical/nursing practices and patient care polices.
In most states nurses who have acquired licenses are required to take a number of CEU’s every 1 – 2 years in order to maintain their license and continue practicing in their profession.
While each state may vary in terms of practices and polices some states may require nurses to take as many as 15 – 30 or more CEU’s ever 12 – 24 months if they want to keep their licenses.
CEU’s are offered by a number of CEU providers, which can often be found either online or through recommendations by a health care organization.
Those who work in the nursing profession may choose to either take their CEU’s online or in a classroom, however because it can sometimes be difficult for a health care organization or employer to determine whether or not a CEU provider is maintaining high education standards it is often up to the discretion of that employer as to whether or not they choose to honor any CEU’s acquired from that provider.
Pricing may also vary for those who are taking CEU’s and the cost for CEU courses can fluctuate anywhere from free to $30 or more depending on the provider.
For nurses who are concerned as to whether or not they are taking CEU’s that will be accepted by their health care organization or employer the best option would be to speak directly with the employer, human resource department or those who are directly in charge of deciding whether or not a CEU is considered acceptable by the provider you have chosen and if it isn’t ask them for recommendations to CEU providers that they would consider acceptable.
It is also a good idea to check with your local Government and/or state licensing board to obtain additional information regarding CEU providers and best practices.