We, as hospice and palliative care nurses, are confronted with the mandate to maintain clinical competency. I have been an advocate for continuing nursing education throughout my career, oftentimes while in the role of Education Coordinator in the hospice and palliative setting. As adjunct online nursing faculty at Saint Joseph’s College and the University of Saint Mary, I am very comfortable in the online learning format; and as a student, I have completed a Master’s in Nursing/Education at Saint Joseph’s College and am finishing in May a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) at Carlow University via the online format. There has been a shift in pedagogy from the teacher-centered model to the learner-centered model to the subject-centered model. It is upon ourselves to engage in self-directed learning and stay current with our practice. Accessing online continuing education offerings is one way to do so and has many advantages; and HPNA offers a rich catalog of E-Learning courses to access for continuing education.

In order to be an advocate for the HPNA E-Learning format, I believe that I must first experience the HPNA E-Learning course content in order to promote it to others as an online learning format to achieve provider approved, continuing nursing education (CNE); therefore, I am on an HPNA E-Learning roll! My goal for 2016 is to complete as many courses in the HPNA E-Learning Catalog as I can. This may appear to be a daunting endeavor, as there are currently over sixty online, on demand courses offered in the HPNA E-Learning course library. However, by devoting three to five hours/week, I should reach my goal during a three to four month period. When and where will I find the time to complete this self-directed, self-learning task? My plan is to sign in to a course during an occasional lunch break and perhaps during an evening or weekend when sitting in a coffee shop or outdoors on the patio in the back yard. All I need is my laptop and a WiFi connection to access the course. E-Learning offers so much flexibility in my busy professional and personal life.

So why have I set such an aggressive personal educational goal? First CNE, via the HPNA E-Learning catalog, provides the contact hours required for RN relicensure every two years (contact hour requirements vary by State Boards of Nursing); and, second, it offers provider approved contact hours required for the Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse (CHPN®) recertification process, every four years, through the Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center’s CHPN® Hospice and Palliative Accrual for Recertification (CHPN® HPAR). However, seeking CNE not only counts toward these obligations, but, more importantly, by actively participating in CNE keeps me abreast of current clinical issues and healthcare trends, as an obligation of my professional nursing development.

Where am in this HPNA E-Learning CNE process? As of today, I have taken twenty-five of HPNA’s E-leaning courses, leaving at least another thirty-five courses to access. From the twenty-five, diverse content courses that I have so far experienced, I would definitely recommend them to my colleagues; therefore, I strongly suggest that you take a look at the HPNA E-learning catalog today, as it is one of the many benefits of HPNA membership (Log into Members Only for access to HPNA’s E-Learning Courses. You must access the HPNA E-Learning courses from the E-Learning link on the member’s only page to have course content access). The HPNA E-Learning courses are free to HPNA members, HPNA is accredited as a provider of CNE by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (ANCC); and upon completion of each HPNA E-Learning course, your personal CE Tracker can be updated so that you may then use your CE Tracker list of courses to update your HPAR CourseBuilder file for recertification. This process makes recertification every four years so much easier!

My burning question to you: Are you currently taking advantage of this HPNA E-Learning educational benefit? If not, I challenge you to sign on to one of the HPNA E-Learning courses today and jumpstart your path to professional hospice and palliative care continuing education. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and responses regarding this valuable educational resource.