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Case Managers Value Online Learning Options

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By Pat Stricker, RN, M Ed
SVP of Clinical Services
TCS Healthcare Technologies

The recent launch of CMSA’s Knowledge Center and Educational Resource Library made me think about how changes in technology have made our lives so much easier when it comes to finding and earning continuing education hours (CEs). (I know I will date myself with these comments, but that’s OK.)

In the old days, nurses seeking CEs would put considerable effort into finding an available course. The Internet did not exist to provide a list of appropriate courses in just minutes. And there was no email to get information from a variety of sources.

Our options were limited to finding course ads in a journal or going to the library to look through printed versions.  We could also review pamphlets that were sent by snail mail and listed opportunities for the upcoming few months.  And, of course, we discovered classes offered by employers, local hospitals, community agencies, and other venues either from the newspaper or a friend.  Our biggest challenge was finding at least one course that actually contained the content we wanted.

Once we found a course and registered, it took advanced planning to actually attend.  We had to make sure we had the time off from work or arrange days or evenings to physically go where the course was being held.  (Remember, we didn’t have Internet-hosted platforms to complete the course online).  For that hour of CE we also needed to add in another hour or more for round-trip travel. 

Isn’t it amazing we were ever able to even get CEs each year?

Today it is as simple as browsing the Internet, a favorite LinkedIn group page, or receiving an email. Not only can we access a course overview, but we can see a preview and listen to the speakers.  Once we select and register for a course, we don’t need to go anywhere.  We can attend from the comfort of our living room or patio, in sweats or pajamas, any time of day or night.

On-demand learning also helps match courses with hectic schedules.  If we don’t have enough time for the entire hour, we can stop after 20 minutes and finish later.  And the cost is just a fraction of what an instructor-led course used to cost.  How could it be easier or better?

I know we all dislike technology at times.  It can be our best friend or worst enemy depending on how it is used.  But for me, getting CEs this way sure beats the old days.

To contact Pat Stricker:

Email her at or
reach her by phone at (530) 886-1700 ext. 215.


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