Why We Nurses Have To Stay On Top Of Our Game

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

We’ve discussed the subject before: Is nursing a profession or a vocation? I believe one of my take home points for why nursing is a profession is the continuing education (CEU) requirement. As nurses, we are required to maintain a certain number of continuing education units (or hours).

I vaguely remember some comments debating why or why not CEUs are good. I believe there are nurses out there who still think CEUs are a waste of time.

Here’s why they are not.

We need to stay on top of our game–the “game” being the delivery of care (NO, I don’t consider my job a game. It’s just a figure of speech). If you haven’t noticed, the “game” has been changing drastically over the past decade. Heck, it’s drastically changed in the past 3-5 years!

We’re using machines and seeing medications that didn’t exist. We’re also treating patients for disorders and diseases that were less known and less seen, not to mention our patients are living much, much longer.

Case in point. If you’ve been around a cardiac patient or even a surgical patient recently, you’ve probably heard of a new anti-coagulation medication that was recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of chronic non-valvular heart disease Atrial Fibrillation. I won’t name the medication, but it’s a unique drug that elicits the same end result as previous anti-coagulation medications with a very different mechanism of action.

It’s this medication’s mechanism of action that changes our “game.” We as nurses need to understand this medication. How it works. Why it’s used. And what about it raises our eyebrows during overdose emergencies, surgical procedures (pre- and post-op) and when prescribing it upon discharge from the hospital.

If we don’t stay on top of our “game,” guess who suffers?

That’s right, our wonderful patients.

Who out there still thinks CEUs are a waste of time?

 What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.


  1. Why are nurses expected to be as smart as Drs (without the perks like meal vouchers and good parking), and as smart as pharmacists (without accommodation to sit in your own space and think about what you are doing)? Nurses receive zero accommodation for all their accountability. Nurses are subject to more interruptions than anyone else and work in an environment that is full of alarms and chaos. They don’t even get their own work areas free from any of these to concentrate or check their work. Everyone wants their nurses to be as smart, knowledgeable and accountable as Drs and pharmacists, but they don’t treat them with the same courtesy or respect (hospital management especially) and expect them to work their bodies like common laborers lifting and cleaning for 12-13 hours plus. I strongly discourage people from becoming a nurse because you Spend a lot of time and money on your education then end up spending 60-80% if your time acting like a human garbage can cleaning urine, feces, and a multitude of other things unchallenging in a positive way. You spend all that time and money on your brain just to not be able to do the job anyways because you don’t have enough help and hurt yourself lifting a patient. You need to be able to use and abuse your body to be a real nurse. And I say real nurse because that’s where the need is at. All the cushy jobs where you don’t actually have to work with patients are few and far between.

  2. Any kind of continuing education activity is only as good as the energy as you put into it. If you just do it without investing yourself, you don’t learn the information and then it becomes busy work and a waste of time. If your personal goal is to just get the credit you are wasting your time. But if you are doing it to keep abreast of new information in medicine than it can be as rewarding as you make it. The continuing credit may not make you an expert on a new subject, but it will introduce you to new information. Where you take it from there is up to you. If you take that and learn on your own, then you are helping not only yourself but your patients. Those new ideas and knowledge may open a whole new world to you if you let it.

  3. I still, after many years, believe strongly in continuing my education with ceus
    My training was so long ago that I could never survive working in our current environment without keeping up.
    Equipment and procedures as well as medications have changed so much that we need to stay current to be effective


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Lack of Sleep Tampers With Your Emotions

Cranky or grumpy after a long night? Your brain's ability to regulate emotions is probably compromised by fatigue. This is bad news for 30...

Researchers Identify Role of Soft Palate in Flu Virus Transmission

National Institutes of Health scientists and their colleagues identified a previously unappreciated role for the soft palate during research to better understand how influenza...

Text-Message Conversations Only Nurses Have

  How about it, nurses…do these look familiar ?   1 When you go out with friends and give your number out to a cute stranger…    .  2 When your significant other attempts...