Attracting and retaining top nurses is a challenge for any medical facility, and raising salaries isn’t always possible. So, what else can you do? Here’s how offering continuing education as an employee perk will help you build a more competitive (and attractive) benefits package.
Why Is Continuing Education a Desirable Employee Benefit?
To keep their licenses, RNs, LPNs, LVNs, and CNAs must participate in ongoing training. For example, in Georgia, nurses must complete 20 to 30 hours of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) every two years. Since nurses are busy people, finding accredited classes and fitting them into their schedules often proves to be a hassle. Plus, in many cases, they end up paying out of pocket for this required coursework. When organizations identify, coordinate AND cover the cost of appropriate courses, their nurses have one less thing to worry about. Additionally, nurses can use these opportunities to advance their skills, discover new interests and build their careers.
Ways to Implement a Continuing Education Program
There are lots of continuing education options. One size does not fit all, so try to figure out what makes the most sense for your organization.
On-site, In-Person Training
If your organization is large enough and has adequate resources, you may want to bring the trainer to you. Set up times that work well for much of your staff. For instance, you could provide sessions at the beginning and end of shifts. This strategy is particularly effective if you are hoping to educate your nurses in a specific area or technique. After all, you’ll know your nurses have received the necessary training and they’ll easily check off their CEUs.
Off-site, In-Person Training
For facilities that only employ a handful of nurses, on-site, in-person training usually isn’t practical or cost-effective. However, you may consider collaborating with nearby hospitals, pooling resources with other smaller organizations, or sending your nurses to conferences. Your team members could attend individually or as a group. Think of it as a CEU reducing outing!
Webinars are an economical training option for facilities of all sizes. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) provides both live and on-demand webinars, many of which count toward continuing education credit. Your nurses could watch these presentations at home. Or to encourage camaraderie, host on-site viewing parties complete with snacks.
Finally, there are numerous self-paced, online training programs. Emory University’s Nursing Experience is a fantastic place to start. Send your staff a link and allow them to sign up for courses. You may decide to pick up a percentage or all the cost. Your nurses could complete these classes on their own, or you could give them time to finish sessions at work. This would be a double benefit. Not only would CEUs be free (or provided at reduced cost) but also, you’d PAY your nurses to complete them!
Is Your Facility Having Trouble Hiring Qualified Nurses?
BOS Medical Staffing has solutions! Our expert recruiters can help you find the nurses you need in Atlanta, Georgia, and beyond. Begin building and training a better nursing team today!