Are you planning a Certification Celebration? Do you need ideas on how to celebrate your community of exceptional nurses?
Based on our experience with the Certification Celebration Dinner at NTI, certificants appreciate and are emotionally engaged by activities that make the experience more personal. Listed below are a few ideas to make your celebrations even more meaningful:
- Use PowerPoint to recognize your celebrants in a visually dramatic manner. Content could include:
- Pictures and names of certificants on continuous play.
- Quotes from certificants, answering questions like “Why did you become certified?” or “What do you value most about your certification?”
- Quotes from stakeholders (patients, families, physicians, managers, peers) on why they admire/respect certified nurses, the differences they see in nurses who are certified or messages of congratulations.
- Words of encouragement from current certified nurses to potential certificants in the audience.
- Provide a printed program listing the names of all certificants, categorized by length of certification. (People love to see their names in print and appreciate the recognition for length of certification.)
- Conduct a pinning ceremony for new certficants.
- Explore feasibility of placing an ad in your local newspaper(s) publically recognizing your certified nurses.
- Submit a press release to your local newspaper(s) listing the names, hometowns and hospital affiliation of new certificants. (Press releases are free!)
- Ask your hospital’s foundation to fund your celebration.
- Raffle door prizes from vendors, hospital recruiters, colleges and local businesses. (Please note: raffles are against the law in some states and can potentially jeopardize AACN’s nonprofit tax-exempt status. If you are unsure on how to proceed, please contact Chapters@aacn.org.)
- Provide a live testimonial from a patient or a family member who wants to share his/her experience working with an exceptional certified nurse.
- One testimonial source could be a colleague who has experienced the other side of hospital care as a patient or family member.
- Ask each certified nurse to write words of wisdom and encouragement about becoming certified on postcards.
- Then distribute the postcards to other nurses in your chapter or local hospitals who are working toward certification.
- Invite the local Chief Nursing Officers to your certification celebrations and ask them to speak.
- It’s an especially meaningful way for certified nurses to be recognized.
The Certification Recognition Product Catalog also can enhance your celebration with special quality CCRN products.
However you decide to celebrate your certified nurses, please submit a picture and your story to AACN to post on the Celebrating Certified Nurses webpage. We, too, want to publically celebrate your successes!