AACN News—May 2007—Certification

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Vol. 24, No. 5, MAY 2007


West Michigan Chapter Celebrates Certification


Jill Cahill and Debra Ryan were two of the nurses honored at the West Michigan Chapter’s Certification Celebration.

The West Michigan Chapter of AACN presented its annual Certification Celebration in January. Nurses with certifications in multiple specialties, CCRN, OCN (Oncology), CEN (Emergency) and CPAN (Anesthesia), were recognized for their contributions to patient care in the West Michigan area. Each of the 33 certified nurses who were present were personally recognized; their combined years of certification totaled 315.
The most recent CCRN certificant in attendance was Jill Cahill, who had passed the CCRN exam just six days before the event. Cahill is a nurse in Surgical Critical Care at Spectrum Health-Butterworth Campus in Grand Rapids, Mich. When asked why she wanted to obtain her CCRN, Cahill said, “I took the CCRN exam for many reasons. I think the most important reason was it helped me realize that I am a critical care nurse. It validated the knowledge I have, but it also challenged me and forced me to learn more about areas in critical care nursing that I knew little about. I also felt the certification was important to obtain because it helps keep me current in nursing practice.” She noted that the things that helped her to be successful were a “supportive and encouraging work environment. We formed study groups that helped us to create a tighter bond in the process of certification. It was a good thing for our unit.”
At the other end of the certification spectrum was Debra Ryan, MN, RN. Ryan is the Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist for Spectrum Health Adult Critical Care in Grand Rapids. She began her nursing career in 1978. Ryan became interested in certification as a relative novice when she met a nurse who had relocated to her hospital. This new arrival had a credential, CCRN, which no one had heard about. Ryan said that all of the nurses who encountered this certified nurse were impressed with her degree of knowledge, expertise and clinical application in the care of critically ill patients. “She was the nurse I always wanted to be,” Ryan said.
As a result, Ryan and her colleagues decided they wanted to challenge themselves professionally. They formed a weekly study group and, using the original 1975 Core Curriculum, made plans to take the certification exam. The following July the group took the exam and passed. Through all the subsequent years, Ryan passed on the importance of certification to others and continued with her nursing education, ultimately receiving her MN in 1988. Currently, she is a member of the Board of Directors for the West Michigan Chapter and a mentor for critical care nurses in the West Michigan area.
The West Michigan Chapter continues to support the value of certification for critical care nurses. Their annual Certification Cram attracts hundreds of nurses from Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. The chapter is proud of its contribution toward patient care and looks forward to many more years of successful certification programs.

Congratulations, Newly Certified Nurses

The following nurses received their certification in 2006.
They were omitted from the list in the March issue of AACN News

CCRN-Pediatric
Jennifer H Russell
Kristi Ryan
Petra M Sadler
Ann M. Sanchez
Pacita M. Sangalang
Marilyn Scheck
Sandra K Schmid
Kathleen Schmidt
Lynn M. Schoenborn
Rebecca Lynn Schorn
Cynthia J Scott
Kristen B Scott
Diana Z. Sepulveda
Lucia D Sherlock
Teneal E Shoaf
Heather M Shockley
Tiffany D Simon
Jamie L Sklar
Cheryl Hunter Smith
Jolene G Smith
Stacia M Smith
Amy L Smith
Fawn Snyder
Tiffany Lynn Solomon
Tamara G. Stallknecht
Lynne Letien Stockner
Cathy A. Stone
Svetlana Streltsova-Verma
Melessa Elizabeth Sumich
Tonya Lee Swim
Tara L Teply
Amy Thompson
Holly M Tomlin
Angela J Trent
Kim I Trotta
Margery A Turner
Joan E. Uding
Jossan Mabeza Uy
Kristy R Van Hook
Charlotte R Venditto
Mary Kate Ventura
Elizabeth Waczynski
Cathy J. Wallin
Beth Ann Wathen
Catherine S. Waybright
Anne M Weaver
Marcinda B Weesner
Mari Elizabeth Welch
Heather N Whitworth-King
Brad Allen Williams
Larissa A Yalon
Linda C. Young
Lou Ann P. Zenzel
Marcia Zinger
Jennifer M Zwass

For the Record: Certified CCRN-Pediatric Nurses listed in the April issue of AACN News were incorrectly identified as CCRNPs.