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In honor of Certified Nurses Day, we reached out to nurses who have earned certification to find out why they love being certified.
As you’ll see their answers are varied: some are glad to have the additional knowledge, some are proud of the accomplishment, and some like being able to have varied skills to help support patients and the nursing field as a whole.
What follow are just some of the quotes that we received. Some were edited, but only for length and/or clarity—we didn’t change the ideas expressed.
“Being certified in rehabilitation nursing benefits our patients and families with a documented level of knowledge and shows our commitment to patient care. It also benefits our coworkers as they have a mentor who can advise and support them with their patients and families.”
—Barbara Hennigan, BSN, RN, CRRN; Nurse Manager, Comprehensive Medical Rehabilitation Unit; University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute
“Certification opened doors for me by allowing my supervisors to trust me enough to teach competencies and mentor new nurses. My supervisors trusted my nursing and clinical judgment enough for me to become a valued resource on our cardiac unit. Certification allowed me the opportunity to climb our clinical nurse ladder, which also provided an additional monetary component.”
—Kendra Armstrong, MSN, RN, ACNPC-AG, PCCN; acute care nurse practitioner; Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital; Albany, Georgia (Provided by AACN.)
“Nursing certification helps me provide the highest level of care to patients during some of the most vulnerable moments of their lives. Knowing that my certification provided me the skill set and knowledge to have meaningful effects on people’s lives is both rewarding and humbling.”
—Shentelle Parker, RN, BSN, TNCC; ICU Nurse; Southeast Louisiana Veterans Care System
“Certification offers me a sense of personal accomplishment and validates my knowledge, skills, and clinical judgment in my specialty area.”
—Robin Colchagoff, MSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM; Director, Clinical Nursing Practice; University of Maryland Capital Region Health
“Becoming a certified nurse affirmed my nursing knowledge within my specialty of practice, Critical Care. Since becoming certified, I have joined my professional organization and have an easier time staying up to date with new evidenced-based practices by reading publications distributed by AACN. I have also encouraged many of my peers to pursue certifications in their specialties, too. I proudly wear my “Nationally Certified RN” badge as a reminder of my dedication to provide the best possible care I can to Every Patient, Every Encounter, Every day!”
—Tracy Kline, MSN, RN, PCCN; Direct Care Nurse, Intermediate Care Unit; University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health
“Being certified is a validation of my commitment, experience, and clinical expertise. I am proud to work along with my fellow certified nurses every day. It is a constant reminder and reassurance to our patients and family members that they are receiving the highest quality care. Certified nurses are determined professionals who invest in their professional and personal growth – they inspire me to be the best.”
—Sherley John, MSN, RN, CCRN; Clinical Nurse, Neurosurgical ICU; North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, New York (Provided by AACN.)
“Having a certification, NE-BC, has given me confidence in my role and supported growth in my career! I would encourage everyone to consider certification in their specialty areas.”
—Danielle M. Wilson MSN, RN, NE-BC; Director Nursing Innovation and Evidence Based Practice; University of Maryland Capital Region Health
“As a certified nurse, I have even more confidence when conferring with my clinical colleagues, because they understand that I have specialized knowledge about my field of nursing. Because of this, I can advocate even more strongly for my patients, consistently improving the standard of care—and the reputation of our nursing staff and hospital. My certification shows that I am a mentor, a leader in my field, committed to growth, accountability, and superior care.”
—Kristen Wolfe, RN, RNC-MNN; Nurse Manager, Mother-Baby Unit; University of Maryland St Joseph Medical Center
“Becoming a certified nurse validates competence and knowledge within a specialty area, and it could increase job opportunities and potentially an increase in earnings. Some areas, such as case management, nursing administration, or being promoted within levels of practice for staff nurses, require certification.”
—Marilyn Wideman, RN, DNP, FAAN, Academic Dean and Vice President; the School of Nursing at Purdue University Global
“I am very proud to have been a certified rehabilitation nurse since 2007. This certification elevates our expertise in the way that we understand and take care of our rehabilitation patients after a disabling event or chronic illness. Maintaining the certification keeps me current with evidence-based practice specific to the needs of our rehab patients.”
—Holny Santana, BSN, RN, CRRN; Nurse Manager, Spinal Cord Unit; University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute
“What I value most about my certification is the opportunities it’s opened up for me – the respect that I receive from my nursing and non-nursing peers, and the changes I’ve been able to make to the nursing practice at my current and previous organizations. I am a better practitioner because of my certifications.”
—Sam Merchant, MBA, BSN, RN, CCRN, PCCN, NE-BC, RN-BC; Progressive Care Unit; University Health System, San Antonio, Texas (Provided by AACN.)
“Earning my Medical Surgical Board Certification provided more professional credibility as a nurse. It helped me with my professional growth as well because it made me more confident in providing quality care to my patients. Patients I have taken care of expressed ‘feeling safe under my care’ just by them knowing that I have an RN-BC title in my badge.”
—Lina DeCastro, MAN, RN-BC; Clinical Nurse 4; Post-Surgical and Orthopedic Unit; University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center
“Besides personal satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment, certification validated all of the knowledge and experience I’ve gained working in the ICU for almost 10 years. My certification has made me a more confident nurse, knowing what I’ve been doing for my patients is aligned with national guidelines and standards for excellence in patient care.”
—Erica McCartney, BSN, RN, CCRN-CMC, ICU/IMCU; resource RN; Swedish Medical Center, Edmonds, Washington (Provided by AACN.)
“It is important for myself and my colleagues to become certified because it demonstrates that nurses have the knowledge, skills, and passion to provide high quality care to patients and their families. Certification shows that you are a lifelong learner who cares about the quality of care you deliver based on the most up-to-date evidence. Certified nurses are role models for other nurses and other health care professionals. It enhances their credibility among colleagues, patients and other members of the health care team. Certification shows that nursing is a profession that cares about safety, quality, and excellence.”
—Kathy M Reisig, RN-BC, BSN; Nurse Manager, NICU, Pediatric Unit, and Pediatrics After Hours; University of Maryland St Joseph Medical Center
“Certification provides validation and it indicates pride, dedication, self-direction and professional development for nurses. It also provides assurance to patients and families for quality patient care. I am proud to hold two certifications!”
—Katie Boston-Leary, PhD(c) MBA MHA BSN CNOR NEA-BC; Chief Nursing Officer; University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center
Take a moment to celebrate Certified Nurses Day and tell us what you love about being certified in the comments below.