By Mary Alexander, MA, RN, CRNI®, CAE, FAAN

Our current blog content comes from Mary Alexander, CEO of the Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation and a GEDI Board Member/Secretary.

Today’s healthcare environment is complex – patients are living longer, new therapies and high-risk medications are being developed, care is being delivered in all settings (e.g., hospitals, clinics, homes, schools), and technology is constantly evolving. Highly-skilled and educated nurses are essential to ensure our patients receive safe, quality care. Obtaining your registered nurse (RN) license provides entry to general nursing practice. So, as you progress along your professional career path, the next step is obtaining certification in your specialty practice.

According to the American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS), certification is as a formal recognition of the specialized body of knowledge, skill, and experience demonstrated by the achievement of standards identified by a nursing specialty to promote optimal health outcomes. It measures the nurse’s ability to provide competent care. Board certification contributes to higher standards of patient care and protects the public, our patients.

Many nursing specialties offer certification. For example, you can become board-certified in medical-surgical, pediatric, oncology, critical care, emergency, and infusion nursing, just to name a few. To be eligible to sit for one of these certification exams, the candidate must meet specific education and work experience requirements. The certification is time limited and calls for recertification to maintain the credential. The credentials are nationally recognized and portable, meaning that your credentials move with you from one organization to an another.  

Certified Nurses Day, March 19, marks the annual day of recognizing board-certified nurses for their dedication to nursing leadership, commitment, and excellence in patient care. Nurses who voluntarily choose to achieve professional certification deserve public recognition and appreciation.

If you’re not certified, take that next step to advance your professional career. Not only will you be rewarded for that accomplishment, but your patients will benefit from a nurse who’s committed to achieving positive patient outcomes.

And to all certified nurses – thank you for your personal commitment to excellence in your practice. Our patients deserve nothing less!