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It is not sufficient to complete a course in nursing in order to practice nursing and get employed in the community. An individual who graduates from a nursing program must pass a mandatory regulatory examination given by the state in order to safely practice nursing. As soon as one passes this regulatory examination, a license is issued and ones name is kept in a registry thus, a registered nurse (RN) title can now be attached to ones name.
The second part of ones journey as a nurse is to gain more experience to qualify to take another set of examinations that is psychometrically sound and specialty –based. This is a voluntary standardized examination given by an accredited credentialing board or organization validating expertise in a designated field of nursing. Once an RN passes this examination, one is now a Certified RN in that particular specialty thus a letter C or BC (board certified) can now be used with the RN title.
To learn more about the different nursing certifications, click on the subject certification on this site for the offsite link.
Here are some of the most popular specialty-based certified nurse initials other than
RNC or BC:
CCRN - certified in critical care
CNOR -certified nurse in operating room
CIC - certified in infection control
CAN - certified in nursing administration
CNAA - certified in advanced nursing administration
CNE - certified nurse educator
CRNA - certified nurse anesthetist