The Powerful Impact of Specialty Certification

 In Nurses Weekly

Specialty certification is one of nursing’s highest professional achievements. And there’s no denying the significant impact it makes on nurses, patients, families and health care organizations.

Certification brings a host of benefits for nurses. For one thing, it validates the specialized knowledge, experience, and clinical judgment these nurses have acquired through training and hard work.

According to the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s report, “Certification for Lifelong Learning,” certification also promotes lifelong learning and ensures that nurses obtain additional, essential skills to keep pace with:

  • Rising patient acuity
  • New regulatory requirements
  • Safety imperatives
  • Growing competition

In addition, certified nurses are more marketable, earn higher salaries, enjoy more on-the-job perks and are more satisfied in their work than their non-certified counterparts.

Because renewal is required every five years, these nurses are more engaged in learning processes and ongoing professional development. To maintain a certified status, nurses must provide evidence of continual learning by completing contact hours or professional activities such as publications, research, preceptor hours or professional service.

Certified nurses can even serve as content experts with their colleagues across the country to provide essential insights and best practice knowledge to assist with certification exam development and help shape the future of their specialties.

Certification benefits patients and families as well. It validates that the nurses providing care are experts in their specialties and sets the standard for quality in clinical practice and outcomes. The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses found that, given a choice, three in four Americans are more likely to select a hospital that employs a high percentage of nurses with specialty certifications.

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