Nursing Speciality Certification

Submitted by Jason Ancer RN

Tags: certification future of nursing healthcare system nurse patient outcomes profession professional rn

Nursing Speciality Certification

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With the advancements of the 21st century healthcare system, there is no question that healthcare providers recognize the complexities of patient-focused care; which creates a calling for higher education. Nursing specialty certification, as a primary means to recognize a specialized knowledge foundation, is created to enhance the overall competence of the provider within the given specialty and improve patient outcomes. There are protocols and standards by which every professional organization is regulated. In nursing, the profession is regulated by the concepts of licensure, certification, and accreditation. For the purpose of this paper, the focus will be directed towards baccalaureate prepared registered nurses and how the concept of national certification within a nursing specialty benefits the patient, nurse and the organization. 

Certification and Patient Benefits 

Advanced knowledge that comes with certification can certainly change the outcome of a patient's hospitalization. Certified nurses have a different skill set then their non-certified counterparts. In return, nurses that have a specialized body of knowledge can treat the patient with more insight. Patients are highly conscious of the benefits of certification; this is validated by the fact that 78% of patients are aware of nursing certifications and three out four patients would prefer to go to a hospital that employees a high number of certified nurse's ("Nurse certification benefits", 2016). Benefits of nursing certification stretch across a wide array of specialties in the hospital. Surgical patients taken care of by certified nurses saw their 30-day mortality rate decrease (Blegen, 2012). When cared for by certified nurses, falls were also decreased in the intensive care unit, as well as lengths of stays was decreased in the rehabilitation department (Krapohl, Manojlovich, Redman, & Zhang, 2011). As shown, there are many reasons for a patient to feel optimistic when cared for by a certified nurse. Although research is lacking to support the general relationship between certification and optimal patient outcomes, when certification is broken down into specific subsets, the research data reveals a positive correlation (K.rapohl et al., 2011 ). 

Benefits of The Nursing Career 

When careers are chosen, there are variables that help guide the decision making process on which career path to pursue. Advancement in career is one of those variables that appeal to all. For a nrse, becoming certified is self-fulfilling and can lead to empowerment in the workplace (Krap<;>hl et al., 2011). Nursing careers are bolstered when becoming certified; a badge of honor. When surveyed, consensus shows that certified nurses are highly recognized from their co-workers and other professionals in their place of employment; as well as, shown more respect of their clinical judgment ("Magnet Moment," 2010). Personal growth, increased competence and confidence, enhanced knowledge, and self-esteem are some of the attributes that a nurse benefits from achieving certification (Krapohl et al., 2011 ). A certified nurse is more secure with his/her clinical judgment and have greater satisfaction in their productivity ("Nurse certification benefits", 2016). The certification process is not a mandate; however, it demonstrates the desire of that nurse to be at the apex of his/her career.

Benefits Of The Hospital 

Hospitals operate like a business; the better the services they can offer, the more patients they will attract. When it comes to patient choice and which hospital to choose for their healthcare needs reputation is paramount. Hospitals like to advertise various rankings they receive from surveys to bolster their census. When it comes to nursing reputation of the hospital, no status is greater than receiving Magnet certification. Magnet certified hospitals achieve the highest of nursing standards. As well as nurses, they are certified through the same American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC). In return, nurses that have attained certification are employed at Magnet hospitals (McHugh et al., 2013). Magnet certified hospitals tend to have better work environments; as well as, lower odds of mortality and of failure-to-rescue (McHugh et al., 2013). When hospitals stand behind their employees, careers and well-being morale is lifted. Nurses that are encouraged to attain certification with employer assistance, have higher senses of belonging at their workplace and will stay at that job for an extended period of time ("Nurse certification benefits," 2016). Employer support can be offered by financial incentives, promotions, recognition and celebrations, peer support, study groups, and providing study materials (Fleischman, Meyer, & Watson, 2011). 


Achieving national certification has proven to benefit the nurse, patient, and organization. When the certified nurse is bestowed with a specialized body of knowledge, self-pride, optimal patient outcomes, and hospital recognition will result. As the future of nursing becomes more complex, national certification will be the tool to advance nursing careers and the future of the 21st century healthcare system. 


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