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What is Continuing Education?

By Terri Goodman of Terri Goodman & Associates

Continuing education provides evidence-based information that can lead to improved patient care. It is an opportunity to keep one's professional knowledge base current.

CE activities provide objectives that delineate what the attendee can be expected to do with the knowledge gained.

The title of a continuing education activity should be engaging as well as clearly identifying the content. For instance, 2023 Updates: New Treatment Protocols for Respiratory Compromise or Let’s Play Jeopardy! Test Your Infection Prevention Expertise.

A CE activity engage the learner for a minimum of sixty (60) minutes, including the question and answer/discussion that follows the event and the post-activity evaluation.

Continuing education cannot be branded; the sponsoring company's logo cannot appear on the slide deck. Though a medical manufacturer's continuing education initiative is a marketing strategy, the education itself may contain no reference to the company or its products.

Relevant topics for continuing education address enhanced clinical outcomes. Personal growth and development topics (fitness, nutrition, financial acuity, time management, etc.) are not eligible for CE credit.

A presentation is defined by its title and objectives, which must remain unchanged for the life of the product. However, data and illustrations that support the objectives can be updated to maintain the presentation's currency and relevance so long as it continues to meet the objectives. The presenter may also customize the material to meet the specific needs of diverse audiences whose clinical application of the information may differ.

For example, perioperative nurses and infection preventionists have different roles in protecting patients against infection and will apply the knowledge differently.

A presentation can provide contact hours for a maximum of two years, after which it must be reviewed for currency and relevance and will either be retired or re-approved for CE credit.


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