Specialty nursing certification signifies one’s commitment to career development and dedication to the constantly changing environment of healthcare. Research has shown that the knowledge gained through obtaining and maintaining specialty certifications not only benefits nurses but also benefits patients, families, and employers.
The Medical Unit has experienced a significant increase in the number of specialty certified nurses the past year; and now has a certification rate of 72%. Nursing staff on the unit have been supported and encouraged to pursue certification in many ways; some of which include…
- Eligibility of nurses to take the certification exam is continually monitored
- Area certification preparation courses are advertised to staff
- Assistance is provided with completing the certification exam application
- Exam preparation materials have been purchased and are available to staff on the unit
A further measure which was implemented to assist in increasing the certification rate on the unit was for leadership to set an example for other staff. It was mandated by Medical-Surgical Administration that charge nurses were to attempt the certification exam in their specialty area during 2010 and successfully obtain certification during 2011. During 2010, all charge nurses on the Medial Unit were able to obtain their certification in Medical- Surgical nursing.
Recognition of the accomplishment of certification has also served as a great motivator to staff. Upon successful completion of the exam staff is recognized with a unit wide email congratulating them on their accomplishment. A banner is also displayed at the nursing station announcing their achievement along with a celebratory sign and balloons on their locker. All units in the hospital acknowledge their certified nurses by displaying their picture in a frame for staff and visitors to see.
Certified Nurses Day was recognized in March by the hospital and the unit. All certified nurses were presented with a letter of thanks. Flowers were displayed in the Medial Unit lobby with an announcement regarding Certified Nurses Day and a list of all nurses on the unit with a specialty certification.
Commitment to excellence in patient care and professional development is a hallmark of specialty certification. The Medical Unit is proud of its staff who have risen to the challenge to validate their knowledge and skill in taking care of our patients.