According to the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), certification is the recognition of specialized knowledge, skills, and experience by passing a national standardized specialty nursing exam which enables nurses to demonstrate their specialty expertise and validate their knowledge to employers and patients.
Nursing, like health care in general, has become increasingly complex. While a registered nurse (RN) license provides entry to general nursing practice, the knowledge-intensive requirements of modern nursing require extensive education, as well as a strong personal commitment to excellence by the nurse. Experience is important; however, being knowledgeable in your profession and being able to continually reinforce this through certification, demonstrates dedication to the profession and to patients. In addition, there is a direct relationship between certified nurses and positive patient outcomes.
- Certified nurses have fewer medical errors thus improving the organization’s bottom line.
- Healthcare systems that employ BSN prepared nurses who are board certified in their specialty see a lower percentage of falls and healthcare-associated infections.
- Healthcare systems that support certification in their nurses have improved retention rates because they are investing in their workforce.
- Certified nurses have more professional opportunities and tend to earn higher pay than their non-certified colleagues.
Depending on the type of certification you are seeking, eligibility may include a certain number of years of practice in the specialty area, specific educational preparation, successful completion of an exam and then continuing education to renew the certification. There are many nursing certification bodies to serve the full range of specialized nursing care offered in the contemporary health care system. An example of nursing certification specialties includes informatics, medical-surgical, pediatric, pain management, behavioral health, peri operative, oncology, hospice, case management, emergency nursing, critical care, and many others.
SDAHO has three registered nurses on staff, and all are certified in their specialty practice:
- Loretta Bryan BSN, RN, CPHQ
- Michell Hofer BSN, RN, CPHQ
- Debra Morello, MSN, RN, NPD-BC
Do you know someone who might benefit from certification? Ready to take the next step yourself? Here are a few organizations you may start researching regarding nursing certification:
- American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC),
- National Certification Corporation (NCC),
- National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ),
- Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing,
- Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation
You may also contact Debra Morello, SDAHO’s RN Clinical Educator, at email@example.com to assist in your professional development journey.
Certified Nurses Day is an annual day of recognition for and by healthcare leaders dedicated to nursing professionalism, excellence, recognition, and service. Every March 19, employers, certification boards, education facilities, and healthcare providers celebrate and publicly acknowledge nurses who earn and maintain the highest credentials in their specialty. Click here for a celebration toolkit and find ways to celebrate the certified nurses at your facility.