They say the best things in life are free, and that must be true because there are certifications that make you a better healthcare professional and cost nothing at all. Yes, you read that right! Nothing. At. All!
We understand the feeling, your widened eyes and why it’s a big deal. Considering education is often expensive, free certifications for nurses just felt like a wave of fresh breeze. We don’t need to remind you of your nursing school loans.
So, as you work hard to pay off college loans or save up for retirement, it may come as a relief to know that there are free online nursing courses and certifications. In a profession where lifelong learning is a must, free educational materials are invaluable. Here we’ll guide you through accessing some of these resources.
Why should nurses pursue certifications?
The medical field is constantly changing, thanks to research and technological advancements. So, even if you’re nursing degree days are far behind you, you’re still always learning. Here are some of the top reasons you should go the extra mile to advance your knowledge:
- The tools and skills help you at work: The number-one reason medical professionals need to keep learning is to deliver the best patient care possible. Technology and research findings help you improve patient outcomes and diagnose and treat rare or severe conditions.
- Certifications look good on your resume: There’s nothing wrong with wanting to stand out to future employers and excel in a dream role. Showing off a nursing certification lets anyone reviewing your resume know you want to be the best you can be at your job and you care about providing quality care. Certifications may even be a prerequisite for specific jobs, so these credentials can open doors.
- You keep your knowledge fresh: Hopefully, you’ll have a long nursing career. Some parts of your job will become second nature over time, but continuing to learn about your field can keep even the nursing skills or knowledge you don’t usually use sharp.
What are the best free courses and certifications for nurses?
We know that money isn’t your only consideration when choosing continuing education courses. You must also have time on your mind. You work long hours and need to reserve a few for self-care and maintaining your mental well-being. Look for self-paced webinars if you need to plan out your study hours, and only take on a class if this is a good time. Remember that you’re on a journey of lifelong learning.
- Health After Cancer: Cancer Survivorship for Primary Care: Some of the most delicate interactions in the medical field are those with cancer patients. This Coursera class by Stanford helps healthcare professionals communicate with oncology patients and plan preventative care.
- Essentials of Palliative Care: This is another Coursera course by Stanford that addresses the basics of palliative care, empathetic communication and psychological support.
- Neuromuscular Monitoring Course: This self-paced class from Stanford via edX is for anesthesia professionals who want to learn more about neuromuscular monitoring equipment and interventions.
- Knowledge and Skills for Dementia Care: the SSLD Approach: This Coursera class imparted by the University of Toronto takes a Strategies and Skills Learning and Development (SSLD) approach to competent community, long-term and at-home care and the management of dementia symptoms.
- Nursing and Long-term Conditions: This class, given by Coventry University through FutureLearn, shows registered nurses (RNs) how to help patients avoid long-term conditions and explains the context of these illnesses nationally.
- Diet Therapy: This online class from Alison teaches the “let food be thy medicine” approach. The course covers how nurses can help patients change their diet to control intestinal illnesses and fight diseases.
- Training for Nurses on Shift Work & Long Hours: Not all classes focus on patient care. Some help nurses take better care of themselves. This course from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) informs nurses on the risks of working long hours and strategies for avoiding those risks. After all, you can provide the best patient care when you take care of yourself.
- Nursing Home Infection Preventionist Training Course: This continuing medical education class, also from the CDC, helps nurses in infection and disease control roles mitigate the transmission of pathogens.
- Pediatric HIV Nursing: In this online course from ColumbiaX, you’ll learn about diagnosing and treating HIV in infants, children and adolescents while providing psychological support.
- Patient Safety and Quality Improvement: Developing a Systems View: In this nurses course from Johns Hopkins University via Coursera, you’ll review the history of patient safety and the characteristics of high-reliability organizations.
How to choose the right nurse class for you
Time and money are two critical factors in deciding whether or not it’s the right time for you to take a course. If this is the right time, here are a few other essential considerations to keep in mind when deciding which class to take. Remember that any course has something to teach you, so there’s no wrong answer.
- Think about how you would like to advance your career: If you’re taking a course so that you can hold a more advanced role in the nursing practice or make your resume stand out, ensure the class you choose provides the certification or credential you need (even if you’ve to pay for the course).
- Look up reviews for the class: On many online platforms, people who’ve previously taken the course leave ratings. Check out what they have to say about the quality, and weigh the pros and cons.
- Ask yourself if the subject interests you: If you’re taking a course to boost your resume but aren’t excited about the subject matter, maybe it’s time for a more drastic shift in your career. Remember that there are more than 100 specialties in nursing, so you don’t have to give up your degree and start over; you can just switch paths within the field. There are also more extensive ways of advancing your career, like getting a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and becoming a nurse practitioner. Now may be the time to take on the challenge.
Education is an asset. You can never have enough of it. Whether you’re a nurse practitioner or a student in nursing school, books will always be your best companion. Even if you don’t choose to specialize in a particular field, knowledge will always come in handy some or the other day. We hope this list of free certifications from accredited institutions helps you set your foundation right.
At Jaanuu, we support every step you take in your career, not just by making sure you’re comfortable in quality scrubs as you take them. Come to us to read more on how to specialize and advance your career and find the role that’s a perfect fit for you.