Have you completed your continuing education requirements yet this year? If you have, congratulations on planning ahead! If not, now is the time to start looking for classes so that you don’t find yourself scrambling for hours at the last minute. Waiting until the last minute to take care of mandatory CE can be very stressful and counterproductive.
If you work in a field that requires continuing education credits in order to maintain licensure, you know how important it is to complete mandatory training in a timely manner. When you find yourself having to complete most, or even all, of your continuing education hours in a short period of time, you often end up having to sign up for expensive classes that cover subjects that don’t interest you at all. This defeats the purpose of continuing education, and causes you to spend valuable time taking classes that aren’t likely to benefit you.
How to Avoid the Last Minute Crunch for CE
The best way to make sure that you don’t find yourself short on CE hours when it is time to reapply for your professional license is to develop a plan for working the training you need into your schedule throughout the year.
For example, Alabama nurses have to earn 24 hours of continuing education credit every two years. It makes sense for nurses in Alabama to plan on taking 12 hours each year. Depending on work schedules and class availability, it is a good idea, if this is your requirement, to take an average of three hours of continuing education credit every quarter.
It is much easier to find three hours of approved continuing education training in a three month period than it is to find up to 24 hours in the last month or two before your license renewal application is due.
The best way of scheduling your continuing education classes depends partially on the ebb and flow of your work schedule. Most nurses have similar schedules year round, so it is logical for them to try to spread their classes out evenly each quarter.
Accountants, however, deal with the huge rush of tax season in the winter and spring, so it makes more sense for them to concentrate on completing continuing education requirements during the summer and fall months.
Heating Venting and Air Conditioning (HVAC) contractors tend to be the busiest during the warmest and coldest months of the year, so it makes sense for them to schedule their HVAC CE classes during the mildest months, when their workloads aren’t likely to be as hectic as the rest of the year.
Whatever your profession, and regardless of the number of continuing education credits you must complete to renew your license, it is not in your best interest to put off taking your classes until the last minute. If you can spread your CE requirements out evenly through the year, or plan to take classes during times when your workload is at its lightest, you will be much stressed out when it is time to renew your license.
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