Recognizing excellence

Last Modified: 3/20/2021

certified nurses day2

In honor of Certified Nurses Day, we asked Erin LaCross, senior vice president, nursing professional development, Parkview Health, to speak more on this annual day of recognition. Join us as she shares what nursing certification is, what it entails and how Parkview nurses exemplify this commitment to exceptional care every day.

What is Certified Nurses Day?

Every year on March 19th, certified nurses across the United States are honored for their professional commitment to creating better outcomes for their patients and colleagues. These nurses know that achieving and maintaining professional certification in their specialty area means holding themselves to a high standard, continuously advancing the care they provide.

What is professional nursing certification?

Professional certification means that a nurse possesses the knowledge, skills and expertise in a specific area of practice. It also means that they have passed a rigorous examination to validate that expertise. A certified nurse has earned the right to use credentials as an outward display of that knowledge and commitment. Specialty certifications exist for nearly every area within nursing, including hospital-based nursing specialties, post-acute and home care, professional development, leadership and holistic nursing, to name a few.

How common is it for nurses to receive professional certification within Parkview?

More than 1 in 3 nurses across Parkview Health holds a professional certification in a specialty area. Additionally, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives and Clinical Nurse Specialists) who practice at Parkview may be board-certified. Board certification is a rigorous type of certification required to obtain their licensure to practice as a provider in the state of Indiana and within their advanced nursing specialty.

How does Parkview support nurses pursuing certification?

Parkview encourages all nurses to become certified when eligible, which is after they have practiced in their area of specialty for a required amount of time. Most certifications require two years of experience, although some require more time before being eligible to sit for the exam. Parkview offers numerous methods of support for nurses preparing for certification. Depending on the specialty, these can include certification prep courses, financial assistance before or after the exam, time for study, prep materials and mentoring.

How does professional certification prepare our nurses to excel in their roles?

Professional certification involves a nurse setting certification as a personal goal, preparing through work experience, studying and taking the step of sitting for the national examination associated with that specialty. Nurses preparing for certification often work closely with a leader, such as a manager, nursing professional development practitioner or educator, for guidance and support. The achievement of specialty certification is a tremendous personal and professional accomplishment. It sets nurses up to continually excel in their roles by requiring them to stay up-to-date on the latest evidence and best practices in their specialty. Certified nurses must complete a specific number of continuing education activities, earning enough credits to renew their certification, which typically occurs every 4-5 years, depending on the specialty. Those credits can come from various sources, such as university credit, publishing or reading articles, taking examinations, presenting, teaching or mentoring others.

What does this mean for patients in our area?

Parkview patients can rest assured that their care remains in the very best hands with our always-increasing number of certified nurses across the region. Our nurses are committed to staying on the cutting edge of new knowledge and care standards in their specialties. Patients should also know that as the region’s largest employer, Parkview Health is committed to supporting every nurse to achieve the goal of specialty certification.

What are some other benefits for nurses receiving certifications?

Certified nurses serve as excellent role models for professional nursing practice and can be well-equipped to mentor other nurses or healthcare team members. Preparing for certification often involves becoming a member of one’s national nursing specialty organization, which opens doors for networking, additional educational opportunities and other forms of ongoing professional development. Becoming certified shows leadership and role modeling for others what a privilege it truly is to be a Parkview Nurse.

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