A Guide to Data & Its Viability in Business

No matter who you are and what you do for a living, you’ve probably heard people talking outlandishly about data. “Data is the new oil,” they might say. Or “data is digital gold.” While these statements take out the context and are a little extreme, the importance of data can’t quite be overstated.

It has become currency for all kinds of digital, social media, and technology companies. As it turns out, people’s information is very significant. It can help inform all kinds of business decisions, even the creation of new products and services. Data shapes our digital world with algorithmic results. Whether you are interested in advancing technology or just want to get a better grasp on it all, below is a guide to data and its viability in business.

What is Data?

Essentially, data is any piece of information that is collected for analysis and reference. In the digital world, it is more complex. Every time you visit a website, data is created. When you post on social media, data is created. Data, in the sense of cyber security, is the digital information that shows where the person was, what they did, and how they did it online. It is also the information that people give to companies when they make a purchase or sign up for a purchase. Data is any number of digital information that is compiled, stored, analyzed, and traded amongst companies.

Why Data is So Valuable

Data is valuable because it can be used to make profit. Whether it’s by gathering that data that shows which ads people are responding to on social media or data that shows what people in a specific region prefer about a product, data can inform businesses and provide new ways to analyze the information. It can help a business get to know their customer base. For example, properly analyzed data can be put into software, composed as graphs, and categorized carefully to make precise representations of people’s wants, needs, behavior, and desires. It can reveal a lot to a business about what is working and what isn’t. It can help them create new products, services, and branding.

Data Accuracy vs. Data Integrity

Of course, the data that is used for these purposes needs to be valid. There is a difference between the accuracy of the data and its integrity, but both are vital. Data accuracy is the quality of the data a company collects. If the quality is high, the business can base pivotal decisions on it. Accuracy means that it reflects reality. Accurate data will prove its worth by showing up correct in the tangible operations of a business.

On the other hand, data integrity is how consistent and relevant this information stays over time. Data could be very accurate when it is initially gathered, but as time goes on these numbers change and the integrity of the data could be compromised by failing to remain accurate or significant to what the business is doing. Both data accuracy and integrity are instrumental, and there are third party companies that provide services to help you understand the accuracy and integrity of data sets.

The Future of Data

As more and more data is collected by businesses both large and small, it will become increasingly effective. Businesses will buy and sell data legally whether it is moral. Data will be analyzed not just by humans with software, Excel, and graphs, it will be analyzed by artificial intelligence. AI can organize and deeply analyze large sets of data in seconds. It can create accessible images and graphs to work with. It can even provide direct solutions to problems and ideas for new revenue streams. The future of data is not fully known, but one thing is for sure. It will remain incredibly vital to business and technology.

Whether you are skeptical about this technological future or are excited about these incredible changes, there is no way to stop it. Data has been used to make profit for businesses for years already and it is only becoming more sophisticated. However you feel about it all, it is important to watch as data usage evolves and determine how it can best be used to benefit humanity—not just a handful of wealthy investors. 

Diamonds are Perfect for These 5 Types of Jewelry

Do you like to collect and wear jewelry? Perhaps you have a decent collection and you’re wondering what you should get next. Well, if you’re into diamonds, you have plenty of choices.

Sometimes, specific gemstones are ideal for certain types of jewelry. When it comes to diamonds, some pieces of jewelry are better suited than others. 

If you’re looking for diamond jewelry, here’s a list of the pieces that are ideally suited for diamonds.

  1. Diamond stud earrings

Studded earrings are fashionable and fun, but nothing beats a good pair of diamond stud earrings. Not only is the diamond durable, but studded earrings look amazing with a diamond in the center.

Diamond stud earrings look great whether you prefer studs with one diamond or studs with one diamond surrounded by gold or another metal.

  1. Dangly diamond earrings

If you’re into dangly earrings, you’ll love the way diamonds look on longer earrings that dangle and move around. Dangly earrings tend to move around when you move, which means the diamonds will catch light from all different angles and will add some sparkle to your day.

There are many types of dangly earrings, and they aren’t always full of diamonds. Sometimes it’s just a single diamond at the top of the earring, or it could be a hoop full of diamonds. The one you like best is up to you.

  1. Diamond bracelets

Diamond bracelets are timeless, especially the diamond tennis bracelet. There’s no denying that people are obsessed with diamonds, but nothing is more sought-after than the tennis bracelet.

Ever since Chris Evert’s diamond bracelet fell off her wrist during the 1987 U.S. Open, jewelers have been cashing in on the novelty of the name “tennis bracelet,” and that’s not a bad thing. These bracelets can be quite beautiful and really add class to any outfit. They’re also made to be stronger these days, since it was a weak clasp that made Evert’s bracelet fly off her wrist.

If you decide to buy a diamond tennis bracelet from a good source, you won’t have to worry about it falling off your wrist if you do play tennis. Although, you don’t need to play tennis to make it look great.

  1. Diamond brooches

Brooches are one of the most beloved pieces of jewelry for many, and diamonds just make brooches sparkle. Some are made entirely with diamonds, but a lot of today’s popular brooches come with diamond accents.

The best part about diamond brooches is that they go with just about any outfit, and the right design will enhance your entire look. Brooches, like any piece of jewelry, can make an outfit more appealing, but they have a little more influence than other pieces. 

Considering that a brooch is usually pinned to the front of your body, it’s going to be more noticeable than, say, a bracelet worn on your wrist or a ring on your finger. You can even use a brooch to draw attention to a specific part of your outfit.

  1. Diamond necklaces

Are diamond necklaces still in fashion? The answer is yes, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Necklaces have always been a popular piece of jewelry because they add a touch of personal style to an outfit.

You can find a necklace designed to show off just about any image, symbol, or design. Some people combine special designs with diamonds. Others opt for pure diamonds. However you decide to wear it, a diamond necklace will make a great impression on anyone you meet and can be an excellent way to make your personal style stand out more.

Diamonds make jewelry amazing

No matter what type of jewelry you like, diamonds will make your pieces stand out and add a touch of elegance to whatever outfit you’re wearing. There’s plenty of jewelry out there to choose from, but nothing will shine as bright as diamond jewelry.

A Budding Entrepreneur’s Guide To Growing A Small Business

Whatever your type of business is, budding entrepreneurs have one thing in common: the desire to grow their business. By growth, this touches on all aspects, from reach to market, and especially the finances. An increase in profit or revenue is often the measure of business stability, so it doesn’t come as a shock how strong the interest is for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.  

While there isn’t an easy approach, those who have gone through business challenges have a lot to share about growing an affiliate marketing business or any other business type. It can be difficult, especially for small business owners, but it’s also certainly not impossible.  

There are proven ways that can help catapult a business’s success, ideas of which are worth learning about. Every successful business owner was once a budding entrepreneur like yourself, so there’s always an inspiration to learn from them. Thus, you’ve come to the right place for some tried-and-tested tips.  

Get To Know Your Customers 

No business can grow without customers, as they are the lifeline of a business. The more customers your business has, the stronger your market share. It means one day and one strategy at a time; you’ll soon be on the way to gaining loyal customers.  

Achieving this goal starts with getting to know your target customers. It only proves how important the market research process is. It helps you tailor your marketing and business strategies to suit the fancy of your target market. Otherwise, no matter how good your business’ products and services may be, a market mismatch will still result in unmet target sales goals. In effect, growth will be slow, too.  

Increase Customer Retention 

Once you know your target customers, your business can focus on improving customer retention. Those loyal customers can help foster growth, as they are walking advertisements by themselves. Pleased customers usually go above and beyond talking about how great your business is, and that first-hand account is credible enough to convince new potential customers. They’ve learned to love your business, so if you want growth, you have to love them back as well.  

Here are a few ways:  

  • Launch email marketing initiatives for a more personal and one-on-one marketing approach with customers; 
  • Work hard to provide consistently good customer service; 
  • Engage with your customers on social media. 

Those three ways are only the basics. Once you go head-on with this, you’ll discover many more that are just as worth doing. 

Hire The Right People 

Like the customers, your business’ employees are very important, too. Growth can’t be experienced on your own accord, as a successful business is a concerted effort of a team working effectively and efficiently as one. This point also proves why hiring the right people is necessary. Be as stringent as you can with the hiring process so each newly-hired team member fits and matches the job description.  

The goal is to find hardworking employees who are as passionate about growth as you are. They should see company success as their own, too, so every day they report to work, they give their very best. And in effect, success becomes your company culture, so growth is easily within reach.  

Get Organized 

Another secret to business growth is staying organized. You can’t be successful when you have blurry visions heading in different directions.  

Create a system of sorts by finding one that works for you. Once you’ve found the one that works for you and your team, stick to it. When you have new hires, they must fit and adapt to an already-established and tried-and-tested system.  

For example, encourage everyone to have a daily to-do list or calendar. Checklists may be simple tools, but they can help you remember everything that must be done, particularly on busy days.  

As your team grows, you can adapt digital file management and office management systems. Sticking to a manual system works while you’re still a small business. But, as you grow, automation is also needed to stay efficient and productive.  

Save And Be Frugal 

This tip can be of great help and is worth emphasizing. Living within your means as a budding entrepreneur can help you have the financial strength to weather tough times. It means your business stays pliant, no matter the financial trouble that may be right ahead.  

Economists can help set predictions for economic conditions in the future, but even that isn’t certain. Saving a lot of money during those early stages can help give your business something to fall back on so the inflow isn’t consistently negative.  

The Bottomline 

It’s not easy being an entrepreneur. Many in the business industry would aptly characterize entrepreneurs as risk-takers. There are many leaps of faith to take, hoping to one day make one’s mark in the business sector. There are many things that entrepreneurs must do and think about when growing a small business, starting with getting the ropes on business growth. When business competition is stiff, it’s even all the more pressing to aim to be a few steps ahead. Such can be done with key strategies like those mentioned above. 

5 Reasons Every Business Should Have a Blog

Did you know that about eight in 10 consumers trust blog content and that nine in 10 companies use some sort of content marketing strategy? 

If you don’t have a blog for your company, you should consider the benefits of doing a 180-degree turn. Blogs provide businesses with advantages that shouldn’t be overlooked. Let’s take a look at five reasons businesses need a blogging strategy.

  1. Increase Website Traffic

Having a website is essential if you own a business. But people won’t visit your site just because it exists. There are around 1.88 billion websites online today. So, simply having a website on the world wide web isn’t nearly enough. You need a way to interest consumers and attract eyeballs. One way you can do so is by adopting a consistent blogging strategy. Studies demonstrate that businesses that blog can bring in more consumers than businesses that don’t. The more traffic you bring to your site, the more opportunities you’ll get to gain additional customers. And this means more potential revenue, so you can’t afford not to start a blogging strategy.

  1. Demonstrate Industry Expertise

Another reason it makes sense to start a blogging strategy is that you can demonstrate your subject matter expertise. No matter what industry you operate in, consumers want to find service providers who are on top of things and can provide expert commentary. So, you’re missing out if you’re not blogging to share insights with customers and prospective customers.

“For my law firm, the articles I write for my blog give prospective clients an idea of how I think and show that I’m keeping up with changes in the nuances of my area of law,” says Rowdy Williams from Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm P.C. “It’s also a place for me to write about successes I’ve had with clients, which helps with credibility and conversion.”

Consumers know that one of the best ways to tell if a service provider will help them is to see how they’ve assisted customers in the past. So, demonstrating how your business has met the needs of customers will help potential clients see that your business is worth patronizing.

  1. Differentiate Your Company From the Competition

You can also use a blogging strategy to differentiate your company from competitors. Focus on explaining the value proposition you offer to customers. You can do this by demonstrating how your products and services can meet the needs of consumers. If you’re blogging, but your competitors aren’t, you can gain a competitive advantage that sets you apart in a good way.

  1. Engage With Consumers

Blogging is also a way you can encourage engagement with consumers. They can respond in the comment section, you can react to their comments and suggestions, and they can share your content with people they know. Engagement will expand your business’ reach, build trust between your company and consumers, and strengthen brand loyalty.

  1. Tell Consumers More About Your Business

You can use blogging to let consumers know more about your company. Consumers want to make informed buying decisions. Before they patronize a business, they want to know they can trust it to provide the best products and services. Do your products and services require explanations? You can set up question-and-answer content so people can get the answers they need to make informed decisions. 

Another way to let consumers know more about your business is to combine a blogging strategy with a social media strategy. Doing so can help you supercharge efforts to reach out to customers and potential customers so that they know what your business is about.

Starting a blog is a good idea if you operate a business. In this digital age, you can’t afford to ignore the benefits that a blog offers. 

 

How To Care For Your New Dog

Congratulations on the newest addition to your family! Your furry companion will undoubtedly add fun, excitement, and love to your home. Of course, as with any living thing, your dog has needs to sustain its health, safety, and happiness. If this is your first rodeo, you may not know much more than providing your pup with food and water and taking them out for walks. However, being a pet parent comes with more responsibilities than you may realize. Continue reading for advice. 

Dog Nutrition

Your dog needs proper nutrition to live a long and happy life. However, their needs will vary by breed, age, and health. When choosing a dog food, keep factors like your pet’s breed, age, health conditions, dietary restrictions, and, of course, your budget. A veterinarian, pet shelter professional, or breeder can also provide recommendations to make your search easier. 

Regular Exercise

Dogs require regular exercise to sustain optimal health. While each dog is different, a general rule is to take them on walks at least three to four times a day for 10-15 minutes. 

Mix things up to keep your dog curious and entertained by taking them around the neighborhood or to a nearby dog park.  You could ask your family or friends to help with the walking schedule if you have a busy lifestyle. There’s also an option to hire a dog walker. 

Grooming Your Dog

Pet parents must also maintain their dog’s cleanliness and hygiene. Washing and grooming your dog regularly helps reduce shedding, maintain their beautiful coats, and protect them from invaders like fleas and ticks. 

You’ll need to purchase grooming supplies, including shampoo, a brush, a flea comb, and clippers (especially for long-haired dogs). You should check for fleas and ticks after walks, brush their fur regularly, and bathe your dog at least once every two to three months. 

Lastly, you should trim your dog’s hair and remove matted fur at least once every four to six weeks. You can always hire a professional if your dog is anxious or you’re not confident in your grooming skills. 

Dental Care

It’s not uncommon for new pet parents to overlook the importance of dental care for dogs. However, much like humans, the condition of your dog’s teeth and gums can impact its overall quality of life. This dog dental guide can provide additional tips on maintaining your dog’s oral health. You’ll need a toothbrush, toothpaste (designed for dogs), and a pair of rubber gloves. After brushing your teeth, reward their positive behavior by offering them a treat. 

Veterinarian Visits

Find a suitable vet for your dog. You’ll need to take your pet to the veterinarian’s office for wellness checkups, vaccinations, essential procedures (spaying/neutering), and prescriptions or treatment options for illnesses and diseases. Opt for a veterinarian with flexible hours, varied pet care services, affordable rates (or insurance options), and a friendly disposition. 

Pet Supplies

Your dog may not need clothes or shoes, but there are some bare necessities pet owners should have on hand. Some essential pet supplies include food and water bowls, blankets, bedding, toys, treats, collar, leashes, training crates, pet carriers (or seat belts), and a first aid kit. 

TLC And Entertainment

Lastly, every dog needs love, companionship, and entertainment. Neglecting your dog could lead to mental health issues, which cause them to misbehave. Make time to love on your pup daily. Snuggle with them, give them a good massage, play, and even have conversations with your furry friend. Although your dog can’t express itself through words, its actions will undoubtedly show you how much your time and attention mean to them. 

Being a pet parent comes with many responsibilities. Although adjusting can take time, once you’ve developed a routine, caring for your dog will be second nature. Use the above advice to give your fur baby everything they need to live a long, happy, and healthy life. Of course, you can also turn to your vet or the many online communities to get tips and tricks to make your dog’s life more enjoyable. 

Modern Careers in Academia: What To Expect

Information-sharing platforms online are the newest way to share academic research and findings. Technology like this has led to changes in careers in academia in recent years. Modern careers in academia are a great way to conduct research and continue learning throughout your life.

This path is a great option, but it is less common, making it harder to know what to expect from this type of career, from salary information to job prospects and growth. We gathered some information here to help you decide if this path is right for you!

1. Salaries and Pay in Academia

Working as a faculty member is one of the most common paths in academia, which means that the service periods are based on the academic year for the students. However, the service periods are not the same as the payroll periods,which are usually delayed by about a month or two.

These differ because only 9 months during the school year are working time for faculty members, but 12 months are included in the paid time.

2. Academic Job Prospects

One of the most common positions to hold in the field of academia is as a faculty member in a university. Faculty members are usually responsible for teaching college classes and keeping up with exam writing and grading.

Faculty members can also usually work in conducting research. To be a part of the faculty of a university, most individuals need to have at least a master’s or Ph.D. Other careers in the field can include that of a laboratory technician or research assistant.

These options are great for those who don’t have, or are currently studying for, a Ph.D. degree. It is also a great experience to have in academia, as research is the name of the game and laboratory skills are in high demand.

3. Typical Goals for Those in Academia

Most of the major milestones that you can work toward in academia are research-based, for example, achieving publication in academic or scientific journals. This means that your research is communicated to other professionals in your area of expertise and has gone through the rigorous peer-review process. If your research passes these stages, it is evidence that your findings are both valuable and valid.

Another common goal that academics will strive for is reaching tenure at their university. A tenured professor can only be terminated in extreme cases, but otherwise has guaranteed job security until retirement.

Presenting research, findings, and new ideas at various meetings and conferences with peers and students. Making new discoveries as an academic is one the most rewarding parts of the career, and being able to travel the globe sharing these findings with fellow researchers is what it’s all about.

4. Institution Service/Volunteering

There is the expectation when you work in the field of academia, that you will provide some services to the institution where you work. These types of services that may be asked of you include:

  • Sitting in on academic committees
  • Ethics boards
  • Grant study evaluations
  • Sitting on editorial boards
  • Mentoring and advising students

Final Thoughts

Making a living as an academic is a very rewarding career path, and is best suited for those who want to continue learning and teaching throughout their life. In this career path, you can expect to earn your living by spending time teaching, researching, and sharing ideas with other experts in your field.

This type of career is for those who are inspired to mentor future generations of scholars at the university level. It is also for anyone who has an unquenched curiosity to study and make discoveries about the world.

Benefits Of Keeping A Blog As A Student

For today’s college students, finding ways to hone their skills and connect with others is essential. You might think of blogging as something that people did back when the internet was less sophisticated. And, you may be turning to more contemporary and popular forms of social media, such as TikTok, to connect and hone ideas.

However, building a blog while a college student still has many benefits. From honing your writing skills to creating a portfolio for specific career paths, here are the reasons college students today should consider having a blog

Where To Get Tips On How To Write A Blog 

Before learning some of the potential benefits of keeping a blog as a student, it’s worth noting where you can get help with blog writing and writing in general. Most likely, your school has some sort of writing center that can serve as a valuable resource for basic writing skills. You should utilize this resource whether you’re already a proficient writer or more of a beginner. 

You can also check out notable grammar websites such as Purdue Online Writing lab. And, for learning how to write a blog specifically, check out resources like The Blog Starter

Benefit 1: Build Your Writing Skills

Knowing how to write well is a valuable skill regardless of your major. And, if you are in any field where you’ll often communicate ideas, continually working on being a better writer is vital. If you’re majoring in something like English, communications, philosophy, etc., having somewhere to grow as a writer will pay off.

Even for many science and social sciences majors, being able to present ideas logically and thoughtfully will come in handy, both in school and later on in your career.

Benefit 2: Express Yourself With Less Pressure

Even if you want to build an audience as a writer, a blog is often less pressure than keeping up with a social media account. So, you can think of your written blog as a way to find your own voice and express your thoughts and creativity without worrying about being an influencer. 

While you’ll still want to be conscious of how you present yourself online, you can have a little more fun with things without the pressure of posting multiple times a day. 

Benefit 3: It Can Help Your Mental Health

College is often a fun experience, but it’s also highly stressful for many students. It’s common for people in college to deal with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. The prevalence of mental health issues has increased even more since COVID-19. 

While writing a blog is no substitute for mental and psychical health services from professionals, it can still serve as a healthy outlet to work through some feelings. Of course, if you’re going to use a blog more to express your thoughts and feelings, it might be better to keep it more private. However, you can also use a blog to connect with others going through similar struggles and life phases as you. 

Finally, there’s a chance you could make money off of your blog or use it as a jumping-off point for other career tracks. 

Overall, most people probably won’t see a lot of money from their blog at first. This means it can benefit your life and writing skills without the added pressure of turning the blog into a side hustle.

6 Ways To Make Company Workshops And Conferences More Exciting

One of the indicators of a workshop’s or conference’s success is the degree of engagement from its attendees. Low levels of participation suggest that your audience wasn’t paying attention, and, hence, may have failed to fully absorb the information you presented.

There’s no denying that a large portion of most people’s time at a workshop or conference will be spent listening rather than doing anything productive. In contrast, the most successful events are those that pay close attention to the attendees and work to improve their experience as much as possible.

The ideal approaches to increase the quality of such types of events will be explored here, ranging from incorporating entertainment to using cutting-edge technological solutions.


1. Choose A Presentation Format That Suits Your Audience Needs

The business world has learned that virtual and hybrid events can be fun and exciting, and the same is true for workshops and conferences. It’s possible that a fully online version of such affairs might be more effective.

If you want to engage those who can’t make it to the session in person, a hybrid approach is a good option. However, in-the-flesh sessions, especially if they’re smaller and more personal, can also be a viable choice for your target demographic.

The needs of your audience will determine the best presentation style. Also, keep in mind that the event’s technology requirements will vary depending on whether the event is hybrid, virtual, or in-person.

2.Set Aside A Few Minutes For A Quick Icebreaker

Start the event on the right foot by engaging in some exercises. Aside from making people laugh and think, such activities also put them in the right mood, encouraging them to contribute their own creative input.

The time invested in these quick exercises is certainly worth it. Remote team-building activities or business discussions can be more productive when participants feel comfortable talking to one another and sharing their ideas.

Icebreakers are like a magical on/off switch, igniting everyone’s imagination and encouraging them to work together. Any meeting, call, or brainstorming session will be met with increased energy and passion after a brief 15-minute game has been completed.

3.Use The Right Technology

Participating in a workshop or conference session allows you to meet new people and discuss topics of mutual interest. Thus, no matter where you hold your event, you’ll need a space that’s conducive to effective communication and group work. So, make sure the venue is equipped with all the right tools and equipment.

Incorporate smart and interactive whiteboards, a reliable Wi-Fi connection, mobile event apps, large screen projectors, video conferencing hardware, and screen-sharing software, among others. Having these technological tools in place ensures you have the optimal and most effective setup possible.

Before the session begins, do a brief run-through and make sure everything is working.

4.Hold A Demo

Have a product demo at your next conference or workshop to show attendees how the item might benefit them. Demonstrating your product to an audience won’t only increase their familiarity with it, but it’ll also pique their interest. You should have knowledgeable and competent representatives available to answer inquiries about your product.

A four-to-eight-step interactive demo is ideal. A video demonstration should last one up to four minutes. To prevent boredom or overwhelming the audience, keep the discussions brief and simple.

5.Take Advantage Of Social Media

If you’re selling or launching a new product or service, try integrating your corporate events with your other marketing tactics, such as social media campaigns.

Knowledge of social media platforms isn’t only useful for getting the word out about your event, but also for increasing excitement and participation in the event itself.

Make the workshop or conference more engaging by allowing the audience to ask questions in real time, providing rewards and incentives for sharing information or hashtags, conducting polls, and many more.

You can also create an online event, like in social media groups or online communities, so you can connect with one another before, during, and after the event.

6.Don’t Forget About Post-Event Strategies

In order to keep event attendees engaged, it’s important to keep the conversation going long after the event has ended.

Following up with your attendees can be done in different ways, including the following:

  • Write Thank You Emails. Sending thank you emails is a good way to maintain communication with attendees long after the event has ended. Write emails to the individuals you spoke with, expressing your gratitude for the opportunity to get to know them and their objectives. Just make sure to make every email specific and relevant to the recipient.
  • Send Out Post-Event Surveys. The best way to get feedback from attendees is to send out survey forms after the event and ask them what they think of it.

These questions can be asked after the event has ended, helping improve the quality of future conferences:

  • Did you find this session informative?
  • Is there anything you want to change about the conference?

7.Conclusion

There’s a wide variety of possibilities available for those looking for ideal business workshop and conference event ideas. Quite a few are convenient because they can be held in different settings or conducted online.

Remember to be creative if you want to stand out in a competitive market and leave an everlasting impression on your clients and employees.

What Nurses Should Know Before Taking CE Courses

When most people talk about CE (continuing education) courses, they’re referring to classes or certifications that are taken on voluntarily. Some professionals take CE courses to keep their heads in the game, while others do it to look more eligible for a promotion. If you’re talking about continuing education for nurses, though, it’s a slightly different story. Continuing Education Units, or CEUs, are mandated for nurses in most states; they’re meant to sharpen the nurses’ knowledge of their craft, and they’re also required in order to keep nurses’ licenses current. Instead of choosing courses solely on the basis of what seems relevant, nurses have to pick from a list of accredited courses. 

There are quite a few more requirements, but those are the main differences between continuing education in general, and CEUs for nurses. Understanding CEU requirements can be tricky the first time around, not only because there’s a lot to learn about them, but also because they vary by state. Some nurses do all the leg-work themselves, while others use services like Nursing CE Central to help them fulfill CEU requirements. If you just want to get the bird’s-eye view, though, keep reading – there’s plenty of helpful information below.

It’s important to keep accurate records

The reasoning here is much the same as why you should keep tax records. You’ll probably never have to pull them out, but if you do need them, it’s essential that everything is in order. The information you should keep track of includes the title of the course, name of the provider, course identification number, date of completion, and number of CEUs awarded. If you don’t want to keep hard copies, it’s recommended to scan them and keep all your copies in a well-organized folder.

Courses can only be taken from approved CEU providers

In each state that mandates CEUs for nurses, there are two authorities that can approve CEU providers: the ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center), and the state’s BON (Board of Nursing). This is important for two reasons. First, since each state’s BON approves their own list of providers, each state will have a slightly different list. Second, if a nurse takes a continuing education course that hasn’t been approved, it won’t count towards their CEU requirements.

Just because a course is related to the field of nursing doesn’t mean it’s a CEU

There are plenty of courses that seem like they should be CEUs, but simply aren’t. For example, taking advanced life support classes or attending a nursing-related seminar may add to a nurse’s overall knowledge, but they won’t be recognized as CEUs by the state BON. This isn’t to say that all hands-on training courses or conferences can’t be accredited. Some of them are; it’s just that you have to check beforehand to avoid confusion.

CEU courses can have many different formats

Just because they’re called “courses” doesn’t mean you’ll be spending hours poring over reading materials or taking tests. Here are some examples of CEU courses that take less traditional format:

  • Getting published in a peer-reviewed journal
  • Developing the curriculum for a nursing-related class
  • Teaching a nursing-related class
  • Attending an accredited workshop
  • Attending an accredited seminar or conference
  • Enrolling in online courses that primarily teach through reading materials, webinars, or videos

Some of these types of courses are only accredited in specific states, so you may have to request clarification from the state BON.

If you have a multistate nursing license, CEU requirements will be determined according to your home state

Most states in the US allow registered nurses to practice in multiple states without having to earn additional licenses (this only applies to RN compact states). This allowance makes it easier for nurses to be mobile and work where they’re most needed, but it can also complicate their understanding of CEU requirements. What if a nurse is working in a state with no CEU requirements, but their home state does have those requirements? In that case, the nurse would still have to complete CEUs, even if they’ve been working in another state for years. 

Some states don’t have CEU requirements

If you’re a nurse practicing in one of the following states, you won’t be required to take CEUs:

  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin

Even if you aren’t strictly required to take CEUs, though, you can still complete them for your own benefit. Continuing education helps nurses stay current on healthcare advancements and recent medical research, and it can even boost a nurse’s career.

CEUs have to be completed before the license renewal period ends

Even though there are many practical benefits to taking CEUs, one of the main purposes is to prevent your nursing license from expiring. Without fulfilling CEU requirements for your state, there could be several consequences. These include losing a job, having your license suspended, or even having to re-take the nurse’s exam as if you’re earning your license for the first time.

Keep in mind that each state sets its own license renewal period. For many of them the interval is two years, but there’s a lot of variation. There are also differing numbers of CEUs required by each state, so that’s another thing to check on before finalizing your studies.

The difference between CEUs and contact hours

These two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but this isn’t accurate. If you look at CEU requirements by state, they’ll typically be written as contact hours rather than continuing education units. The ANCC also adopts the same format, but some CEU course providers measure according to CEUs rather than contact hours. With the two terms being used so often, it’s important to know the difference – 10 contact hours equals one CEU. 

The takeaway

There are plenty of ins and outs when it comes to taking CEU courses, but the steepest part of the learning curve is at the very beginning. Once you’ve gotten better acquainted with how they work you’ll be able to focus on the courses themselves, rather than all the associated regulations.

4 Problems Businesses are Facing and How to Solve Them

In today’s ever-changing world, running a successful business is increasingly difficult, especially for smaller companies. If you are trying to run a good business, read on to learn about four of the most significant issues you might face and how to solve them!

1. New Hires

Due to sweeping social changes and many jobs becoming automated, many people are not working as much. They find other means of income, such as welfare plans, to take care of themselves. This results in many businesses being short-staffed.

Finding good staff who will work hard is becoming increasingly difficult. However, it is not impossible. One of the best ways to find hard-working staff is by searching online for a “staffing agency near me.” A website like that can not only help you find employees, but it can help you find employees who are professional, experienced, and know what needs they need to fulfill for your business.

2. Staff Retention

Not only are businesses having trouble finding employees, but many are also struggling to keep the employees they already have. The last thing you want for your company is a high turnover rate.

To combat the increasing turnover rate, there are a few things that you can do. The most important thing you can do is pay your employees well. Inflation is rising, and many people are struggling to make ends meet. So, they will often move to different employers based on which one is paying the best.

Also, a pleasant work environment will make staff want to stay longer. A good work environment is the second most important thing to employees behind good wages. People do not want to be miserable every time they go to work.

3. Decreasing Productivity

Another issue facing many companies is a decrease in productivity. Many different things can cause this.

One of the most significant issues causing this might be a lack of training. If your employees are unsure how to do their jobs properly, they will not do the job well.

It could also be because managers are not supervising well. They could not be assigning tasks appropriately, or they may not be keeping employees focused on their work.

Also, a lack of proper equipment may be causing some of this decrease. Technology and equipment are constantly developing. This means that there may be equipment that will make your staff’s job more accessible that they may not have. If you can find and provide your team with the best technology and equipment that your business can afford to get, you may be able to increase your productivity.

4. Preparing for Change

The business world is constantly changing. Popular products come in and out of style. New sales strategies emerge and evolve. Market trends and forces continually shift. If you refuse to be flexible, your business won’t survive these changes.

Sometimes you may have to cut ties with business partners, pick up new ones, or move locations. It is these types of things that you, as a business owner, might have to do to stay in business.

You will also want to understand how the market works. Understanding these trends can help you change your business strategies to keep up with competitors.

Summary

Keeping up with changing times doesn’t have to be a headache. Running a business well is never easy, but you know you’re up to the challenge.

If you can find reliable, long-term staff and embrace changes as they appear, you’ll consistently grow your business and find it a far less stressful task. Best of luck!