As diabetes educators, there are many reasons we seek out continuing education. Many of us are motivated to be lifelong learners to help ourselves and our patients, and continuing education helps us stay on the “cutting edge” of our practice. And, there are always those necessary requirements to support being a Certified Diabetes Educator and to be part of an accredited diabetes education program. But getting continuing education is not always easy when you're trying to stick to a budget and keep expenses low.
A wonderful way to get a large number of continuing education units (CEUs) is to attend the AADE Annual Meeting. The meeting provides opportunities to learn new information, as well as to interact with peers and to re-charge our passion for diabetes education. For most attendees, we can earn 22 hours of CE credit at just this one conference. I LOVE going! But, some years, we might not have the time or funds to make it to the Annual Meeting.
So, I decided to blog about low/no cost CEUs. Before I sat down to write, I decided to open my mail. And right there, was the latest volume of The Diabetes Educator. I removed the plastic to find a supplement generated from a 2009 Annual Meeting presentation with a 1.5 contact hours for CEUs provided for completion! Then, I went to the AADE website, under Professional Resources, Educational Programs & Products (as a member) to find 4 current programs, each 1.5 CEUs. Two are free and 2 were only $25.
AADE Webinars offer an opportunity to join with a group of peers for one price. Dividing the cost with others can provide inexpensive CEUs with the added benefit of peer interaction. I have done this with several educators at work quite a few times. Webcasts on Demand are now available which are free to low cost with 11 currently available. I had no idea! So, by doing 4 supplement programs and 2 Webcasts on Demand, you can potentially get 9 CEUs for $50 total! And, for a few dollars more, there are lots of options for 1.5 CEUs each.
Also, check out ADA, food manufacturing companies, pharmaceutical companies, and your other professional organizations for free CEUs. Just check the expiration date and the organization providing CEUs to be sure they fit your needs/requirements.
Do you know of any other options? I would love to hear where you have found inexpensive or free CEUs suitable for diabetes educators. Are you a dietitian, nurse, pharmacist, or another professional? Do you have access to CEUs that some of the others might not know about? I look forward to getting some great information from many of you!