certification is just a feather in your nursing cap. it is not the same as state licensure. it requires you take and pass a national test given by the american nurses association which indicates that you are especially qualified as an rn. no one has to do this. it is something people chose to do for the status of having this distinction. i have not often seen that having this gets you a larger salary.
- this is the site of the american nurses credentialing center of the american nurses association. if you run your mouse over "certification & cert. renewal" a drop down menu appears. click on "certifications available" and you will get a page of the certifications offered. down toward the bottom you will see the categories of rn,c (registered nurse, certified) that you can take a test for. from the information at this site for an rn,c in medical surgical nursing, these are the basic eligibility requirements they list in order to qualify to take the examination to earn this certification:
hold a currently active registered nurse license in the united states or its territories;
have practiced the equivalent of two years full-time as a registered nurse in the united states or its territories;
hold a baccalaureate or higher degree in nursing;
have a minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical practice within the last three years (see items a and b below), unless specified in criteria specific to the specialty areas listed on the following pages; and
have had 30 contact hours within the last three years.
there are links to exam information on the right side of the page that you should check out. also check out the faqs.
i once got my rn,c and knew at that time that they were going to require a bachelor's degree in nursing to take this exam. you will note, at their web site, however, that they still list this credential under aa nursing. however, when you check the eligibility requirements, it clearly states that you must have a bachelor's degree. at the time i took the credentialing test, it was a paper and pencil test that lasted 4 hours and was given on a saturday at a local university. i believe it cost a couple of hundred dollars to take the test. the test was pretty much based on what you have learned as a practicing nurse, so you really need experience as a hospital rn to take this test. there were, however, questions on administrative kinds of things as well including quality improvement, etc.