Published Sep 24, 2004
Hello, I am a NICU nurse going on three years in the NICU. Is becoming certified worth it (my hosp. does not give more money) but I figure I would want to learn this stuff anyway and why not get certified. Any thoughts? t.
RN4NICU, LPN, LVN
Well, I disagree. I think it is a validation of your specialty. Many hospitals DO pay certification differential, and it certainly looks good on your resume. Also, even if they don't pay, it may make a difference on your evaluation, and subsequent pay. I think getting it and maintaining it is an investment in your career.
Don't forget to get to take the cost off your income tax, too!
Well, I disagree. I think it is a validation of your specialty. Many hospitals DO pay certification differential, and it certainly looks good on your resume. Also, even if they don't pay, it may make a difference on your evaluation, and subsequent pay. I think getting it and maintaining it is an investment in your career. Don't forget to get to take the cost off your income tax, too!
Well, where I work, it's not recognized in ANY way. No differential, no extra point on the evaluation, not even looked at on the resume. Poor management decision in not recognizing this? Absolutely. But unless I planned to move, it would do nothing for me career-wise. If I got it, it would be entirely a pride/accomplishment issue.
Nothing like hospital administration/unit management DISCOURAGING such things (by not providing any recognition of it whatsoever).
BittyBabyGrower, MSN, RN
We have girls that have moved here from out of state and it was mandated in their units to have the NCC. I have mine...I don't get a pay raise for it, but I also think that it helps validate your knowledge...not saying that everyone that doesn't have it doesn't have knowledge!
It is a personal matter most of the time.
What actually is NCC........Neonatal Certification Certificate or Critical Care....?
I agree with eveything prmenrs said. Obtaining and maintaining certification in my specialty is certainly an investment in my career. My eyes were opened to this idea when I read the book "Your Career in Nursing: Manage Your Future in the Changing World of Healthcare", by Annette T. Vallano, MS, RN, CS. where Ms. Vallano states, "Invest in yourself as if you were a corporation!" in her chapter titled "Becoming the Nurse CEO of You, Inc. I now think of myself as the manager of a corporation of one employee... me... and if I don't do a good job of keeping myself trained, educated, up to date on new advances, and able to do the best job possible then I will need to fire myself as manager of "Me, Incorporated".
After being on this Earth for several years, I have come to realize that as soon as I think I have life figured out it throws a curve ball at me. I never expected to become a widow at 27 and then didn't expect to have to move to another state when I was 40. Having my certification was very helpful when I went job-hunting in a new state where no one knew me from Adam's house cat. It showed my future employer that I am not only an experienced NICU nurse but I have also been able to pass a rather difficult standardized test given by an independent credentialing center who considers me highly knowledgable also.
I believe that anyone who has worked in their specialty full-time for two years would likely be able to pass the certification exam. I believe that having certification shows employers, co-workers, and other people who are aware of what certification is that I am considered very knowledgable in my specialty. Magnet hospitals encourage certification. My previous employer encouraged certification. Most importantly to me was the feeling that my experience and knowledge was validated by the NCC; this gave me a little boost of confidence when I was feeling unsure of my understanding of being a NICU nurse. For me, nursing is a career rather than a job. I plan my career in a way that has long term vision. I don't know what life holds in store for me in the future but I do feel sure that maintaining my certification will help me keep current in NICU knowledge (re-certification requires continuing education) and will give me confidence and possibly a little better chance of being hired in case life takes me to another NICU to work.
Certification is a personal decision. Its the right decision for me. I do not receive any extra pay at my new hospital for being certified. That does not deter me. My previous hospital reimbursed us for the cost of the test and travel expenses to go take the exam. They also included being certified as a way of reaching a higher rung in the nurse laddering program (each year we got a bonus of up to $4000.00 depending on our years of experience, level of education, certification, and participation in hospital education programs/volunteering like teaching ACLS/NRP/PALS/BLS, teaching inservice programs, volunteering in health fairs, etc). The cost of my re-certification is only $50.00 every three years because I obtain my continuing education credits using self-study modules obtained from the NCC. For me, it's worth every cent.
Again it's a personal decision. I am motivated by money like anyone else, however, over time I've learned that there are some things more important to me than being compensated with money. When I was a young woman money was more of a motivator; now with life experiences under my belt I'm learning that life has many more layers of ways to be motivated, to be inspired and to feel greater self-esteem.
Wishing peace and happiness in whatever decision each of us make in regards to certification.
Love and light,
NCC is a credentialing body which specializes in certifying nurses who work mainly in the Maternal-Child and Women's Health areas of nursing. If you would like to visit their web site you can do so by going to: http://www.nccnet.org
personal decision........for me it was added education that is never a waste and validation of experience. It depends on the hospital for recognition. The one I worked at for 14 years gave me a quick e-mail of congrads and would'nt allow the
"C" to be added to our RN on our badges.
2 other hospitals paid extra and proudly added them to our name tags.
It does mean a mandatory 45 ceu's to keep it up. And amazingly I have worked in two states that have no mandatory ceu's at all for RN's. So I find it keeps me updated on many new things as well as refreshes other things that I do not do much. A plus in my book!
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