N108: Transition to the Registered Professional Nurse Role Study Guide The continuing education unit (CEU) became a rather uniform system of measuring, recording, accumulating, transferring, and recognizing participation in nonacademic credit offerings. The National Task Force on the Continuing Education Unit developed the definition of CEU, such as ten hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship with capable direction and qualified instruction is equal to ten CEUs. Nurses should seek out opportunities for continuing education. Some states began to require CE during the 1970s. Many states have CE requirements for renewal of licensure for active nurses. Continuing education is often measured in contact hours or clock hours. Mandatory continuing education affects licensure, meaning that any nurse renewing a license in a state mandating continuing education will have to satisfy that requirement. Voluntary continuing education is not related to relicensure. 1.11 Transition to the Professional Nurse Role Role Transition Role transition is the process of moving from one role to another. In any role transition, it is necessary to let go of old patterns of thinking and begin to think in new and different ways. This is not always an easy process because the old ways of thinking are comfortable and change can be difficult. There are three phases of role transition: • Endings : In every transition, there is an ending. The old ways of thinking must go and the new way of thinking must become the new norm. This cannot be just an outward process, it must also include internal changes to the way a person thinks and feels. There are four aspects to endings: o Disengagement is the process of separating from a familiar place in the social order, from activities, relationships, places, or roles that an individual is moving away from. o Disidentification is letting go of the former role. Sometimes, the old identity doesn’t want to let go and this can interfere with the transition. o Disenchantment is the idea that the old ways of thinking are no longer sufficient and something new is needed. o Disorientation is the sense of loss and confusion that happens when between roles. • Neutral zone : In this phase, a person in transition is hovering between the old and the new roles. While nothing may be visible externally, internally there are many changes occurring. First, there must be a surrender to the uncertainty and emptiness of the change and then, as this phase continues, the person will begin to feel renewed and recharged, as the new role takes hold. Finally, there is a change in perspective about the old identity and a new way of thinking begins. • Beginnings : In this final phase, the change has occurred and a new chapter in life is just beginning. The old identity has been integrated with the new one and the person goes forward with renewed energy and enthusiasm.