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Renew Your Credential with a Critical Care Nursing CEU Online

written by: Sylvia Cochran•edited by: SForsyth•updated: 6/30/2010

There are plenty of options for picking a critical care nursing CEU. Online teaching venues provide access to a wide array of educational opportunities that will be recognized toward meeting the contact hour requirement for renewal.

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    After the CCRN Certification: Keeping it Current with a Critical Care Nursing CEU Online

    Nurse drawing a syringe by Jkgroove/Wikimedia Commons Earning the CCRN certification(1) requires the critical care nurse to undergo a three-hour examination that encompasses 150 questions. It is noteworthy that this designation is open only to professionals who are already very active in the position, not novices with a recent degree in nursing.

    In fact, the applicant must provide proof of – at least – 1,750 hours of work-related immediate “bedside care of acutely or critically ill" patients within a 24-months timeframe. The lion’s share of this requirements falls into the year immediately preceding the application for certification.

    The certification is renewable in three year intervals and must meet the prerequisite of 100 critical care nursing continuing education units or points. While they may be spread over the course of the three years, they must meet an A, B and C category classification. There is no reason why not at least some of these requirements may be met online.

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    Finding a Nursing CEU Online


    To satisfy the requirement of the critical care CEU, online nursing students need to look no further than the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) itself. Members of the organization receive free access to the more than 300 CE courses, which offer between one and four contact hours, span all categories, and cover topics such as “Genetics and Susceptibility to Malignant Hyperthermia" and “End-of-Life Care in the Critical Care Unit for Patients With Heart Failure."

    Lippincott Williams & Wilkins(3)

    Accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation (ANCC), online critical care nursing course products for continuing education meet with California’s, DC’s and FL’s approval, as well as TX requirements for home study CEUs. More than 300 available learning options provide between two and four credits. Costs vary: some courses are priced at $18 while others cost as much as $33; available titles include “Getting to the Heart of Back and Shoulder Pain" and “Sepsis alert: Avoiding the shock."

    Gannett Healthcare Group(4)

    Also recognized by the ANCC, Gannett brings plenty a nursing critical care CEU online in the form of print, basic online interactivity and also podcasts. Some are JCAHO relevant while others are specifically geared to advance practice nurses. Contact hours vary from one to six hours. Titles include “ABC’s of Emergency Burn Management" and “Preventing Medication Errors." Costs range from $10 to approximately $50.

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    Can Critical Care Nursing Credentials Really Stay Updated with Online Training?

    Considering that it is already standard practice to earn an online RN degree, there is no reason not to believe that staying current in the field with a critical care nursing CEU online would be detrimental. In fact, a lot of the subjects are of an ethical or legal nature -- or may deal with aspects of the care environment -- but do not require hands-on training.

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    Photo credit: Nurse drawing a syringe by Jkgroove/Wikimedia Commons at

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