AACN News—October 1999—Certification

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Vol. 16, No. 10, OCTOBER 1999


Promote the Value of Certification

Certified nurses are well aware of the value of their achievement, both to themselves and to their patients and families. Promoting awareness of this value in the workplace and the benefits to employers can help ensure that certified nurses are recognized for the commitment to quality they have demonstrated.

AACN Certification Corporation is working to provide suggestions on ways individual nurses can promote this recognition. Two articles by former AACN Certification Corporation Chairperson Nancy Molter, RN, MN, can be of assistance.

Portions of one of these articles, titled Certification: Respected with Reason, Rewarded with Pride, have been made into a two-page poster that can be displayed in the workplace. This poster can be printed from the AACN Certification Corporation Web site at http://www.certcorp.org.

The other article by Molter, which was published in the December 1998 issue of Critical Care Nurse, is titled Making Certification a Badge of Trust. In this article, Molter offers the following “talking points” that can be used to market the value of certification:

• Certification is recognized as a measure of excellence and consumer safety in our society. Marketing the certification status of nurses is the same as marketing the certification of physicians, healthcare administrators or the certified public accountant status of the chief financial officer.
• Nurses who voluntarily obtain certification demonstrate their commitment to continuous learning and excellence in practice. This is the type of employee an organization wants for meeting the challenges of the 21st century.
• Nurses who become certified demonstrate personal mastery of their profession, one of the key competencies of leadership.
• Wearing credentials is a way to advertise the quality of care delivered. Nurses should take every opportunity to explain their credentials.

Other suggestions are being compiled on an ongoing basis on the AACN Certification Corporation Web site.

Why Do You Value CCRN Certification?

Sue Beswick, RN, MS, CCRN CCNS, asked fellow CCRNs in her unit at Mercy Hospital in Janesville, Fla., why they value their certification. Following are some of their responses:

I think it adds to our professional image.
It makes me keep abreast with reading the journals.
Mary P.

We get more respect from the doctors. I showed them questions on the CCRN exam and the director of critical care thought it was harder than the internal medicine exam. Coworkers also respect it. It’s a goal to strive for and gives you confidence.
Lisa W.

The education required to maintain the CCRN status is very helpful to me and my patients.
Cindi M.

It’s a definite plus. It’s good public relations. It gives personal satisfaction. It’s great when patients and family ask me what those letters behind my name stand for and being able to tell them all about it.
Becky B.

Beswick said that 12 of her 27 colleagues at Mercy are now CCRN certified. Mercy is one of the few hospitals in her area that hires new graduates, she said, adding that CCRNs are good role models for these novice nurses.

“The extra knowledge base helps them make good ICU nurses out of the new grads,” she commented.

When hiring nurses, the unit manager uses the high proportion of CCRN-certified nurses on staff as a marketing tool, Beswick said. The unit displays a plaque engraved with the names of all the CCRNs. Beswick noted that one of the physicians paid for the engraving.

“It makes us all proud,” she said.

Letters: Renewing CCRN Likes the ‘Human’ Aspects of Test

I have been CCRN certified in neonatal nursing since 1996. I take great pride in this credential, and work within my unit as a CCRN liaison to promote an interest in and commitment to certification on the part of others.

Although I had acquired more than 100 CERPs (continuing education recognition points), I opted to retest to renew my credential in 1999. I wanted to see what the new exam was like so that I could pass this information on to my colleagues who are considering testing. I also wanted to “dust off” a few areas of my brain by reviewing and studying.

I was impressed with the exam and the incorporation of the Synergy Model into its content. It was nice to be asked questions involving family-centered care, education, collaboration, etc., that I incorporate into my own practice. I think the new CCRN exam puts a nice emphasis on the human and professional aspect of critical care nursing, while maintaining the tradition of testing for expert clinical knowledge.

Thank you for a well-needed and, for our profession, a well-deserved change.

Michelle T. Leas, RN, BSN, CRN

CCRNs, CCNSs Get 10% off Liability Insurance

Maginnis & Associates, AACN’s recommended provider of professional liability insurance, now offers all CCRN-certified nurses and CCNS-certified nurses a 10% risk management credit off liability insurance premiums.

The Maginnis program provides nurses professional protection, regardless of whether the professional act in question is performed within or outside their employment activities.

If you are interested in applying for Maginnis’ liability insurance protection and in receiving the 10% risk management premium credit, or if you are already insured under this plan and are now eligible for the premium discount, call Maginnis at (800) 621-3008, ext. 105. If you are not a member of AACN and would like more information about these and other benefits of membership, call (800) 899-AACN (2226).

3 Candidates Now Required to Schedule CCRN Exam Site Overseas

AACN Certification is pleased to provide the CCRN� exam to candidates who are located overseas. However, because of the costs associated with administering the exam, a minimum of three candidates is now required to establish an overseas CCRN� testing site. The paper-and-pencil adult, pediatric and neonatal exam format has been retained for testing overseas.