We usually have 3-4 nurses a year try for this. The hospital will reimburse the cost of the test if you pass and then you can apply for the clinical ladder and get some cash in hand. I will probably try for it next year.
A lot of places DON'T pay for the test, even if you pass. We just started this where I work as we are now a Magnet hospital. Doesn't get me anymore money, just my name on a plaque on the wall. I've had mine since 1992 and I did it just for myself.
I wanted to get the certification test when I worked adult telemetry, just never got around to it. I didn't think I had enough knowledge for the NICU test until I helped one of my co-workers study for the test (she passed). I then really wanted to go for the test just for my own personal fulfillment. Then I found out there was the reimbursement and bonus (I guess one benefit I've found to being a magnet hospital).
I think getting the certification (and keeping it current--that's the hard part!) is a very good, professional thing to do. Even if this hospital doesn't compensate you (it should, imo), you may work elsewhere, and what a cool thing to augment your "sale-ability" to a prospective employer.
Obviously, there's a lot more to it than $$. Seems like it's a pride kind of thing: I care enough about my specialty to stay current, and here's the evidence.
I am currently studying to take the CCRN. However, other than the amount of hours required to take the exam, and how recently you have to have had those hours, I don't see a big difference between CCRN and RNC. I have read that a long time ago, you couldn't take the CCRN if you didn't have a BSN, although that is no longer true. Can anyone add to this? Most people in my current hospital have their RNC, but at my last hospital, CCRN was more popular. Help!
I don't think it really matters whether your certification is from NNC or from Certcorp. Mine is from NCC. I chose them because everyone I worked with who had their certification had received theirs through NCC. I also liked the idea that NCC focuses mainly on the Maternal-Child area of nursing specialties. I have kept mine current for 6 years now and intend to always do so. My hospital reimbursed me for the test and travel after I passed it; not all hospitals do. When it's time to renew my certification, I have enjoyed buying the modules from NCC. By doing that, my renewal fee is only $50 every 3 years (1/2 price). If I were to use my regular CEUs I get throughout the 3 years the renewal would be $100. To me it's very much worth it to obtain and keep current with my certification. Not only is it a good thing to have on a resume but more importantly to me, it helps me have an extra yardstick to measure how well I am keeping up with the changes and knowledge in my field... which I feel helps me be a better bedside nurse.
As far as why many nurses don't get their certification... I don't know! If you have been a bedside nurse in the NICU for 2 years, you should be able to pass the exam for Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing. I hear some people say they don't have the money to spend, especially when the hospital doesn't reimburse them. I hear some people say, "I don't need to pass a test to know I'm a good nurse." which is certainly true in many cases. I do believe that if more of us were to take and pass these exams and become certified, it would be one more way we could prove how valuable we are to our employers and the general public. I also believe that many people do not know about nursing certification. At the hospital where I work now, several people asked me why I write RNC behind my name. Only 3 people so far knew what the RNC meant. My philosophy is that nursing is an evolving profession which requires constant education to stay on top of our game. Certification is just another way I put my philosophy into practice.
Congratulations to those of you who have your certification!
Wishing encouragement and luck to all who pursue your certification!!
The problem is that many many hospitals don't pay you ANYTHING for being certified. They don't pay for the test, give you a raise, nothing. So in those cases, like at my hospital, many of the nurses have no interest in taking the exam. Why, if they have to pay for the test out of pocket, pay for the CEUs, pay for the recertification, and not even get a raise because of it?
I am planning on taking the test, because I do want that extra bit of confidence that comes with certification. But I'm in the minority in my unit, that's for sure.