CCRN as a requirement?

  1. How do you feel about CCRN as a requirement to work in the ICU? Where I work it is not a requirement but it is encouraged. We want all our nurses to have their specialty but few are buying in. Suggestions to encourage the nurses to get their CCRN would be appreciated? Also, I'd appreciate any view points on why a nurse may not want their specialty as every 5% of nurses on a unit that hold their CCRN's decrease mortality by 6%. Thoughts please.
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    About Steph41

    Joined: Jun '17; Posts: 30; Likes: 18


  3. by   KeepinitrealCCRN
    i got my CCRN because it made me feel accomplished and i love being an ICU nurse. i want to continue to grow and this was part of my personal growth so i am proud of being CCRN certified; also the extra money doesn't hurt. that being said i do not think it makes a better nurse. i know nurses who do not have it and i would take them as my nurse 10x over some nurses who have their CCRN. it is just a test and anyone who can study should be able to pass and be certified. additionally, i am always skeptical when management/upper management act like they are encouraging you to get it because they support you. it just makes the organization look better and it is a requirement for magnet designation so i do not blame nurses for not buying into it.
  4. by   jennycRN
    What incentives or support are offered apart from "encouragement"? Attaining the CCRN credential represents an investment of time and money to study for the exam, purchase study materials and register for the test itself.
  5. by   chare
    Quote from Steph41 every 5% of nurses on a unit that hold their CCRN's decrease mortality by 6%. Thoughts please.
  6. by   Steph41
    The hospital will pay for the certification. They also provide materials to study. There is no pay incentive, bonus, or increase in wages.
  7. by   Julius Seizure
    Quote from Steph41
    The hospital will pay for the certification. They also provide materials to study. There is no pay incentive, bonus, or increase in wages.
    I probably wouldn't do it without a wage incentive, personally. Maybe for a bonus, but I would prefer it just added to my hourly wages.
  8. by   adventure_rn
    I've worked in places where most people are certified, and places where most people aren't. These are the common threads I've seen in places where people get certified and maintain that certification.

    1. The hospital pays for certification, regardless of whether or not you pass (staff, even those who will likely pass, may not think it's worth risking their $300 application fee if they're concerned that they won't pass and then won't get reimbursed).

    2. The hospital pays for recertification fees (otherwise staff may not be willing to spend their own money to recertify, especially if they don't get any financial incentive to stay certified, which brings me to...)

    3. The hospital provides some financial bonus, i.e. hourly diff, annual bonus, higher 'step' on pay scale, clinical ladder 'rung,' or one-time bonus (longer-acting incentives are more effective than one-time bonuses, especially if you want people to stay certified)

    4. The hospital provides some funding or educational opportunities to help cover the cost of renewal CEUs, i.e. AACN membership (especially because the CCRN requires so many hours)

    The CCRN is expensive to take and to maintain (both due to recertification fees and the large number of CEUs). In addition to the expense, employees have to think it's worth their time and effort to become certified; most people won't be willing to work their butts off and spend $100+ a year to become and remain certified (unless they're applying to other jobs and/or grad programs). From what I've seen, the combination of these elements will probably help to increase your numbers, however it's pretty pricey for the unit.
  9. by   marienm, RN, CCRN
    I did mine because I wanted my manager to quit asking about it. My hospital paid for it (and offers some training) but other than a clinical ladder rung (worth about $200 annually, IF you apply for the clinical ladder) it doesn't offer any incentives. Even as I was studying, I was saying "this is basically just helping my resume in case I want to look for another job!"

    I'd love to see your source for the stats you posted. I agree with some's just a test. I'm proud that I passed it, but I've always been pretty good with books and tests. It doesn't make me better at starting IVs, or cure sepsis, or get the doctor to switch my patient from propofol to versed. I do think it helped me cement some concepts and now I am more confident teaching those when I precept.

    Also something for consideration: you have to have worked in critical care for about 2 years to take the test. If that already fits in with your hiring requirements, no problem. Otherwise, I think it will restrict your applicant pool. If you do go this route (and if I were applying for that job) I'd expect compensation commensurate with experience *and* certifications.
  10. by   Dodongo
    I got it just to apply to school.

    More nurses will get it if you pay them for it - and I mean increase in hourly pay (even if it's not much), not just reimbursement for the exam itself.
  11. by   Greenclip
    In our ICU, many nurses go there intending to stay for no more than 2-3 years because their real goal is to become an NP. For this reason, there is no incentive to get CCRN. 75% of attrition in our ICU is from NP grads.
  12. by   Steph41
    I appreciate all the feedback. I definitely see the benefit of getting certified. Our unit now has 5 CCRN's out of about 30 nurses.

    I hope others see see the value of being certified, not just for a raise or to have some extra credentials but to further their knowledge base and be a stronger nurse.
  13. by   Cowboyardee
    It's unpaid overtime for a position that they already have. I have nothing against the CCRN. But don't be cavalier with other people's time and money.

    Also, there are a whole lot of ways to improve one's practice besides certification. Paul Marino's "The ICU Book" improved my understanding of critical care far more than any CCRN prep book I've studied, for just one example. For another, actively studying the illnesses and treatments common in your particular ICU tends to be much more beneficial to your patients (and efficient for your time) than prepping for a test with an over-wide scope like the CCRN, where a great deal of the material won't apply to your practice at all. Of course, you could do these things AS WELL as getting your CCRN. But it's strange how little mention alternative skill improvement strategies get in comparison to certification and the BSN. I honestly wish that critical care physicians had a more active hand in guiding the education curricula of critical care nurses, though I know that's a turf war waiting to happen.
    Last edit by Cowboyardee on Mar 8