Some of us may admire nurses for their ability to stand and move around for 12-hour shifts or their capacity to listen and assess a patient’s status. Others might appreciate how nurses can translate diagnoses, test results and life-style changes in a way that patients can understand.
Any way you slice it, nurses spend the most time with patients and have an enormous affect on patient care. That’s why more and more nurses are receiving nursing certification in specific clinical areas. “Certification is where the healthcare industry is going,” explains Jody Bishop, M.S.N., RN and Magnet Program Director. “Healthcare needs are becoming more complex, and as a result, require nurses to become more specialized.”
Nurses achieve certification credentials through specialized education, experience in a specialty area and a qualifying exam administered by a certifying agency, such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The preparation and testing for nurse certification pays off. Nurses remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their specialties and are more prepared to care for chronic or critically ill patients.
“National certification in a specialty area such as emergency nursing, critical care or anesthesia recovery signifies that a nurse has achieved a higher level of knowledge,” says Jesus Cepero, Ph.D., RN, NEA-BC, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Meritus Health. “This knowledge helps improve patient care and outcomes. Nurses who achieve national certification show a continued commitment toward education and excellence in nursing practice.” Jody Bishop agrees, stating, “Certification is really a validation of nurses’ experience, and it demonstrates nurses’ commitment to life-long learning.”
On March 19, we recognize the contributions of certified nurses as part of Certified Nurses’ Day. At Meritus Health, 160 nurses have attained nursing certification in emergency care, obstetrics, critical care, oncology, pediatrics and perioperative care as well as midwifery and advance practice nursing (nurse practitioner).
Not only does certification show the public that nurses have met high standards of practice, but it gives nurses a sense of pride and professional accomplishment for all they have achieved. “I am so proud of our certified nurses, and those who prepare to take on certification,” states Cepero.
By: Anne Gill