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Commitment to Patients, Colleagues Motivates Nurses to Seek Certification

Feb 22, 2022

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AACN celebrates the value of specialty nursing certification on Certified Nurses Day, March 19

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. — Feb. 22, 2022 — The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) joins hospitals and healthcare organizations to recognize certified nurses for their professionalism, leadership and commitment to excellence in the care of patients and families as part of Certified Nurses Day

The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the complex and challenging nature of healthcare and the valuable contributions of certified nurses. Specialty certification reaffirms nurses’ commitment to using the best evidence to provide care for patients and families. Achieving certification demonstrates to patients, employers and the healthcare team that a nurse’s knowledge reflects national standards and a strong personal commitment to patient safety.

In honor of the national celebration of certified nurses, AACN asked progressive care, critical care and advanced practice nurses why they chose to get certified. Here are a few of their responses:

“I wanted to validate my knowledge and skills, but I ended up expanding my knowledge base even more than I ever anticipated. I now understand so many critical care concepts on such a deeper level and feel as though I can provide even better care for my patients!” – Laura W. Schwartzer, BSN, RN, CEN, CCRN

“I took my certifications because studying for it helps me understand my patient’s diagnosis and condition better. This knowledge allows me to practice safely and efficiently. I am also able to provide better suggestions to doctors and my team to improve patient recovery. I am also able to better teach, explain and encourage my patients the what, why, how and when.” – Jenny Go, RN, CCRN, CMC, CSC, PCCN, CMSRN

“I worked for my ACNPC-AG because I felt my patients deserved optimal care, and this is what I strive to give them. I wasn’t finished advocating for my patients [with] the title of registered nurse. I wanted to help manage my patients’ care on a provider level, as a nurse practitioner in critical care, working firsthand with my fellow nurses and healthcare team at my side!” – Jared Sanders, MSN, ACNPC-AG, CCRN, SCRN, CNRN

“I wanted to validate my clinical knowledge and continue to apply evidence-based knowledge to practice. The bonus of being certified is being a positive role model on your unit. I have had more nurses than I thought ask me about becoming certified and I hope to encourage as many nurses as possible to become certified to continue to elevate our profession!” – Lisa Stewart, BSN, RN, PCCN

“I decided to get certified because I wanted to challenge myself, improve my knowledge base and skill set. Being certified is a testament that I am committed to providing excellent care to all my acutely ill patients in this dynamic & complex healthcare system.” – Eileen Celestino, BSN, RN, PCCN, CSE, PHRN

“I wanted to validate my critical care knowledge and be an ambassador for other nurses to obtain their specialty certifications. As an educator/CNS, certification showed the staff I was willing to "walk the walk" and it was not just talk.” – Lisa Barile, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, CCRN

“Healthcare is ever-changing. As a seasoned nurse of 33 years, certification is a means of self-accountability to remain strong and knowledgeable in my field. It is also a symbol of dedication to my patients, their families and my employer of my desire to deliver the best care possible.” – Sandra Harris, RN, CCRN

In 2020, the American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS) conducted a national survey that found 75% of adults thought it was important for all nurses to have a specialty board certification in a relevant field.

According to ABNS, more than a million nurses and advanced practice nurses in the United States and Canada hold one or more specialty nursing credentials. These certifications were granted by 56 U.S.-based credentialing organizations and represent 148 different credentials.

Currently, more than 130,000 AACN Certification Corporation credentials are held by progressive care, critical care and advanced practice nurses. AACN Certification Corporation credentials: CCRN, CCRN-K, CCRN-E, PCCN, PCCN-K, ACNPC, ACNPC-AG, CCNS, ACCNS-AG, ACCNS-P, ACCNS-N, CMC and CSC.

Certified Nurses Day, an annual worldwide event, is dedicated to celebrating certification as a means to help ensure high standards of patient care and to promote continuing excellence in the nursing profession. Initially proposed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the day honors the birthday of the late Margretta “Gretta” Madden Styles, an international pioneer in nursing certification and longtime friend of AACN and AACN Certification Corporation. Styles designed the first comprehensive study of nurse credentialing.

For more information about Certified Nurses Day, visit www.aacn.org/certnursesday.

About AACN Certification Corporation: AACN Certification Corporation, the credentialing arm of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, drives patient health and safety through comprehensive credentialing of acute and critical care nurses, ensuring practice consistent with standards of excellence. Since 1976, AACN Certification Corporation has collectively granted approximately 450,000 nursing certifications, with over 130,000 active certifications held.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: For more than 50 years, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has been dedicated to acute and critical care nursing excellence. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. AACN is the world’s largest specialty nursing organization, with more than 130,000 members and over 200 chapters in the United States.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 27071 Aliso Creek Road, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656; 949-362-2000; www.aacn.org; facebook.com/aacnface; twitter.com/aacnme