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Researching Med-Surg Certification

Med-Surg   (1,085 Views 6 Comments)
by Alex_RN Alex_RN (Member)

Alex_RN has 3 years experience and works as a RN.

11 Likes; 3,485 Visitors; 305 Posts

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I am an RN starting to look into med-surg certification. A quick search shows:

  • Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) offers Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) credential.
  • The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers the RN-BC (board certified).
  • The American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) offers Progressive Care Nursing Certification (PCCN).

What programs do you like? Any tips?

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2 Likes; 225 Visitors; 36 Posts

Personally, I've never seen any value at all in certification. It's expensive, and there's no way to recoup the cost. We should all, certainly, keep learning, but certification seems to benefit ONLY the certifying organizations. They make a TON of money off the nebulous concept of nurses "verifying their knowledge." Bah. I verify my knowledge every single day.

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Alex_RN has 3 years experience and works as a RN.

11 Likes; 3,485 Visitors; 305 Posts

I agree but my first choice hospital just added "nationally recognized med-surg certification" as a non-mandatory but desirable qualification.

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2 Likes; 225 Visitors; 36 Posts

Well, if you feel like doing it, then you'd probably do best with the ANCC "board." Progressive Care is (theoretically at least) different from Med Surg, and unless you have recent/current work in Progressive Care, AACN might not let you take the course. So basically, make yourself highly qualified in what you do and then look outward or upward towards what you might like to do next. I hope that is helpful. Do keep us posted!

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2,135 Visitors; 32 Posts

I just signed up to do AMSN. I wasn't going to do it, but I found out my employer will reimburse for the cost and that I would get a raise for being certified.

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Buckeye.nurse has 13 years experience.

4 Likes; 3,698 Visitors; 295 Posts

I know nurses who have taken both the AMSN and the ANCC med-surg certification exams. From what I've heard, the AMSN focuses more on body systems and disease processes, while the ANCC has questions related to delegation, collaboration, ethics, patient management, etc. in addition to disease questions. There is a *huge* body of potential questions that your exam can come from though, so results may vary.

I personally took the ANCC exam from a purely financial perspective. My employer is part of the Success Pays program with ANCC, where we get two attempts, and only pay for the exam once we pass. Like Sammi, my employer gives us a raise for being certified (3.5%!) which is nothing to sneeze at, and it also ties into our clinical ladder program.

For me at least, the actual studying for the exam reinforced my knowledge base more than the exam itself. I do feel like studying was an excellent refresher, and the CE requirements for certification renewal force me to continue to stay up to date with articles, classes, etc.

Hope some of this rambling helps you, and best of luck! :)

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