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Topics About 'Nursing Certification'.

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  1. The topic of exams often bring up feelings of anxiety and fear of the unknown. At a recent convention of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses’ National Teaching Institute (NTI) Mary Watts, BSN, RN, allnurses.com’s Content and Community Director interviewed Denise Buonocore, MSN, RN, ACNPC, CCNS, CCRN, CHFN about the topic of specialty certification. Denise is an acute care nurse practitioner for heart failure services for St. Vincent's Multispecialty Group at St. Vincent's Medical Center, Bridgeport, Connecticut. Her clinical practice involves providing care for patients with heart failure (HF) in inpatient and outpatient settings. Buonocore is a national and international speaker on many aspects of cardiac, palliative and critical care, safe care transitions, certification, and healthy work environments. Why Certification? Mary asked Denise about the “why” of nursing certification. Buonocore stated, “Certification is the mark of distinction that shows that you have gone the extra mile. In our healthcare system today, you really need to stay current and even things you did five years ago are not current today. You need to practice at the top of your game.” Concerns Of course, there are some concerns for nurses when they discuss certification. “Fear of failure is probably the biggest concern of nurses,” commented Buonocore. She went on to say that it is important to focus on “what’s the best thing that could happen and focus on the positive not the negative.” Tips So, what’s next? Here are some tips: Make the decision to go for it Find a mentor Get a study buddy Take a review course together Benefits There are some solid benefits for obtaining certification. Employers now are looking for nurses to have certification and maintaining the certification. It can be the deciding factor between being hired or not. Hospitals often have a clinical ladder that rewards certified nurses monetarily. We all are aware that patients are sicker than ever and come to the hospital with many co-morbidities. So, what are the pluses for hospitals to encourage nurses to become certified? Employing certified nurses is one part of the Magnet designation journey and this is the goal of many facilities. Patients too are savvier nowadays and they are aware that the research shows you receive better care in Magnet facilities and in order to have a Magnet designation, you need to have a certain number of certified nurses. Hospital Support Hospitals can support nurses as they seek certification: Reimbursement for certification expenses Providing meaningful CEUs Publicizing the accomplishments of certified nurses Just Do It Denise Buonocore finished the interview with this thought, “I’d like to share a thank you to all the nurses for taking care of our patients. If you are certified, thank you. If you are not certified, think about it.” Here is the complete interview.
  2. As 2019 begins, the healthcare industry is faced with challenges. Everything from cybersecurity to payment models is listed as possible issues. As a nurse, you likely ponder longer on problems of patient care and experience than any other potential challenge. Patients are demanding better service as out-of-pocket contributions, and cost-sharing percentages continue to rise. This means that nurses must look at ways to improve their practice and increase the credibility and skill they bring to the bedside. The American Board of Nursing Specialties reports that there are almost 750,000 certified registered nurses worldwide in a variety of settings. To publish a complete list of common nursing certifications takes quite a bit of space. Nurses can be certified in critical care, case management, urology, or wounds, just to name a few. Certification can be time-consuming and difficult. However, the benefits for employers, patients, and the nurse are many. Adding Value to Your Employer Nursing requires ongoing learning and mastery of skills. Many employers value nursing certifications in various specialties to demonstrate experience and knowledge in complex areas. Nurses are only required to pass the NCLEX once (thank goodness!) but do have to complete a set number of continuing education courses each year by their state board of nursing. Certification in a specialty provides ongoing validation of experience, skills, and knowledge in your certification specialty. Some employers will support certification through continuing education courses, reimbursement of costs associated with certification, and annual memberships to accrediting bodies. Hospitals and other facilities often publish data on the number of certified nurses to increase the public’s confidence in the nursing care provided within the walls of their organization. Employers who embrace certification might be better positioned to thrive in today’s competitive healthcare marketplace. Increasing Confidence of Patients Patients are sicker today than ever before. As life expectancy increases, more people are living longer with chronic illness and acute exacerbations. The public wants to be assured that nurses are competent and highly skilled in their specialty area before they become patients. A 2002 Harris Poll found that 78% of consumers were aware that nurses could be certified. Awareness of nurse certification was slightly higher for nurses than other professions such as doctors, teachers, and accountants. Many consumers prefer hospitals that employ certified nurses to provide care. Being certified in a specialty brings credibility to your practice and marks your work with a sense of excellence. Boosting Job Satisfaction Certification doesn’t only benefit your employer and patients. It validates your knowledge and skilled judgment in a specialty area. Karen S. Kesten, DNP, RN, APRN, CCRN-K, CCNA, CNE and associate professor at George Washington University School of Nursing spoke with Mary Watts, Community Director of AllNurses in 2018 about the path to certification. As the past chair of the national board of directors for the AACN Certification Corporation, Karen understands the benefits of certification. She encouraged nurses to obtain certifications and emphasized that nursing is a lifelong learning pattern and with certification, you have more options. She advocates for nurses to have a louder voice to advocate for the patients, and one to obtain this voice is through specialty certification. When you become certified, you are the “expert” in your specialty and on your unit. You must meet eligibility requirements in your specialty that demonstrates you’ve been working in the field for a specified period. Once you meet the eligibility requirements, the real fun of studying and learning what you need to know to pass the exam begins. Once certified, you will need to maintain your certification through continuing education courses that meet the requirements set by the accrediting body. All of this ensured continued growth your knowledge and skill of your specialty area. Certification can open up job opportunities. Nurses who are certified possess the knowledge and skill to give employers confidence that you will be a high-performer. A certified nurse might pass up other nurses with the same amount of practical knowledge solely because of the extra initials they write behind their name. Weighing in on Certification Are you certified in a specialty? If so, what has certification done for your credibility with other professionals and patients? Has certification helped boost your confidence in your skill level or opened job opportunities? If you’re not currently certified but are considering becoming certified in a specialty, what do you hope to achieve through certification? Do you have questions about certification that other nurses on AllNurses can help to answer? As a certified nurse case manager, I can help along with so many of the other nurses here on the site. Let us know what excites you about the idea of certification and if there is anything that terrifies you about beginning the journey to certification.
  3. Continuing education - these two words either excite you or send you into a state of boredom-induced slumber unmatched by pretty much anything else in life. Nurses are required to complete continuing education to maintain their licensure. However, experts tell us that there are more significant benefits to continuing education than just keeping our ability to practice the craft of nursing. Here are a few reasons you should spend your time and money investing in your future. Maintaining Licensure Every state in the U.S. has a different set of expectations for nurse continuing education requirements. Some states mandate a certain number of continuing education. Others have specific courses or topics they require to address issues that happen in the state, such as child abuse, domestic violence, or laws governing your practice. Providers of continuing education courses must meet specific rules to ensure that information is current and meets laws and nursing practice as it changes. This safeguards you from completing materials today that was outdated years ago. Be sure your up to date on what you need to know about nursing licensure. Improving Safety Your patients expect to be safe when in your care. No one wants to be responsible for adverse drug events, falls, or other unsafe patient situations. While it is impossible to eliminate errors altogether, it should still be your goal. When nurses participate in continuing education that focuses on best-practices, patient-centered care, and safety prevention - errors lessen and patient satisfaction increases. Fostering a culture of lifelong learning in nursing is one of the pivotal practices that keep patients safe. In fact, when the 1999 To Err is Human: Building a Safer Healthcare System was published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), it showcased some scary numbers about patient safety: Up to 98,000 patients die each year due to preventable medical errors Medical errors cost up to $29 billion each year nationwide You might think that the IOM would have been looking for high-tech ways to rectify these numbers. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the IOM joined forces to establish eight recommendations with goals for the next 20 years. Half of the strategies created to fix the issues found were based solidly in education. The four learning strategies included implementing nurse residency programs, increasing the percentage of nurses with a baccalaureate degree, doubling the number of nurses with a doctorate, and engaging nurses in lifelong learning. I believe that this study illustrates the strength of continuing education in nursing. When nurses are empowered to increase their own understanding of the profession, patients are safer and more satisfied with their care. Meeting Certification Requirements Have you considered becoming certified in a nursing specialty? Accrediting bodies often have their own requirements you must meet to maintain your certification. You might need to complete courses on specific topics or areas to achieve the necessary requirements. For example, if you’re like me and have a certification in Case Management, you’ll need to show that you’ve completed 80 hours of approved continuing education specific to being a case manager. Many courses will meet the requirements you need for your certification while also keeping you compliant with your state board of nursing. Gaining New Skills and Meeting Changes Healthcare is becoming more innovative every day. From new drugs and treatments to the use of artificial intelligence and virtual reality, there’s so much to learn. Instead of waiting for hands-on training opportunities to come to you on the job, consider enrolling in a CE course that provides an overview of skills you know you’re going to need. It’s essential to remember that not all new skills are technical. While learning how to use equipment or how to assess for specific diseases is necessary, sometimes the skills you need most are interpersonal. If you’re struggling at work with communication, time management, or you’re considering moving up the career ladder, there are courses to help you gain the knowledge you need. Advancing Your Career Whether you’re considering certification, returning to school, or just want to stay up on the latest research - all of this learning will help to advance your career. Continuing education is an excellent place to start if you’re considering changing your specialty. You can choose a few courses to take to learn the basics of just about any nursing niche out there so that you can find out if it might be right for you. Continuing education might be mandated. However, if you can flip the script on how you approach continuing education requirements you might find that there are many reasons to invest in your professional development. How do you feel about mandated continuing education? Do you enjoy it or do you just complete it because it’s required to maintain your certification?
  4. AllNurses.com's Content and Community Director, Mary Watts recently interviewed Karen Kesten, DNP, APRN at NTI 2018 on the subject of nursing certification. Dr. Kesten is the past chair of the national board of directors for the AACN Certification Corporation, as well as an associate professor George Washington University School of Nursing. Many nursing certifications are available from AACN Certification Corp. for both RNs and APRNs. Dr. Kesten recommends certification for all nurses as a "mark of excellence and distinction." She went on to state that this proves credibility of knowledge and leads to higher patient and nurse satisfaction. New Certifications Two new certifications; CCRN-K and PCCN-K are now available. These certifications are for nurses who do not currently deliver direct bedside care but who indirectly affect patient care thru management, instruction or staff development. The "K" stands for "knowledge." This is a way for nurses to continue to use their knowledge even though they are no longer bedside. Other new certifications include palliative care, and forensics nursing. These specialties show patients and colleagues that the nurse has attained a level of expertise in their specialty. Dr Kesten foresees possible future certifications for nurse navigators and nurses who are involved in transitions of care. APRNs and the Consensus Model Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) also need to consider the Consensus Model when choosing their educational pathway. The APRN roles are: Nurse Practitioner Clinical Nurse Specialist Certified Nurse Midwife Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist "To help take APRN practice to the next level, AACN collaborated with over 40 nursing organizations to address the inconsistency in APRN regulatory requirements throughout the United States. The result was the Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification, and Education (LACE)." The Consensus Model sought to improve patient access to APRNs, support nurses to work more easily across different states, and enhance the certification process by preserving the highest standards of nursing excellence. Through consistency and clarity of APRN Consensus Model criteria, APRNs were empowered to work together to improve health care for all." LACE also determines what patient population and focus the APRN certifications cover. This is an effort to delineate out each APRN specialty and to develop more consistency. Dr. Kesten encourages nurses to consider a primary care APRN role as nurse practitioners are in great demand especially in underserved and more rural communities. With the current physician shortage, nurse practitioners are filling many provider roles. More and more nurse practitioners are seeking roles in specialty care, which extends the availability of providers. Why Certification is Needed Dr. Kesten encourages nurses to obtain certifications. She emphasized that nurses are in a life-long learning pattern and with certification, they have more options. There are many faces of nurses so there are many certifications and she expects that nurses will have many more opportunities in the future. Dr. Kesten advocates for nurses having a louder voice in order to advocate for their patients. Overall there are many more opportunities available for certified nurses. Consider certification! References: AACN Certification Corporation APRN Consensus Model
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