All nurse practitioners (NPs) should consider their career as constantly evolving. They should seek additional education that can increase competency in their current environment and possibly set them on a new path and seize seemingly unlimited opportunities in their career.
Continuing education is not only about furthering your knowledge in medicine, it is also about furthering your career by learning to branch out on your own. Some courses available include having the necessary tools to go into private practice. If you are considering going into private practice you also need to take courses that help you develop a business plan and market yourself. In the digital age, having a website, online marketing, and social media management are among the marketing skills you will need. Other critical coursework includes practice management, which includes hiring employees, billing and coding, accounting, taxation, and negotiations with insurance companies.
Learning more about psychology, including the diagnosis and treatment of different mental illnesses is a good choice for all NPs in the primary care setting. Primary care providers are often the first point of contact when people experience mental illness. It is not only important to learn treatment, but you will need to recognize the signs of mental health problems. You should become familiar with tests used in the primary care setting to help identify depression and anxiety in patients. Although most patients will ultimately be referred to a mental health professional, it can be critical to manage mental health medication until then. Having a thorough understanding of different classes of medication and medications within each class can help you make decision that increase treatment compliance in patients.
There are any number of specialized courses that can assist you in working with different patient populations or learn more about medical specialties. Although many of these courses can be relevant to the primary care setting, they are also useful if you want to further your career by working in a specialized environment, such as the surgical wing of a hospital or as part of medical group for cardiovascular care. Cardiology, women's health, and neurology are some common concerns seen in primary care. Additionally, further knowledge about working with patient groups, such as the elderly and problems that disproportionately affect them are also good choices for continuing education.
Furthering your education can increase opportunities in your field and help you learn new information in the evolving field of medicine. There are any number of nurse practitioner continuing education courses for NPs, but there are some that can be more beneficial than others.