Nurses Honor, Encourage Certifications

April 19, 2011

by Arley Hoskin | Reprinted courtesy of KC Nursing News

Certified nurses throughout the metro area celebrated their accomplishments during Certified Nurse Day on March 19.

Hospitals honored their certified nurses in the weeks before and after the official day. Menorah Medical Center sponsored a breakfast for its nurses.

“It was a nice thing for Menorah to have a breakfast for us to recognize our achievements,” said Carla Miller, RNC, a staff nurse in labor and delivery.

Miller has been a labor and delivery nurse for 20 years. She said she appreciates the education she received when she studied for her certification test.

Menorah Emergency Department clinician Micky Mathews, RN, CEN, said certification affirms that nurses are at the top level of their specialty.

“I took it because I wanted to see how I measured up against a lot of nurses in the country,” Mathews said. “It’s a bench- mark.”

Nurses who are certified take continuing education courses to keep their certification active.

“I find that it keeps me very up-to-date with what is the cur- rent practice,” Mathews said. “You have just about taken a full college course to get it.”

St. Luke’s Hospital critical care nurse Kristin Sollars, BA, BSN, CCRN, spoke to St. Luke’s Hospital nurses during a reception for certified nurses.

Sollars, who recently became certified in critical care, encourages nurses who are certified to help others achieve that goal.

Sollars said nurses on her unit pushed her to take the certification plunge.

“Peer pressure can do good things for us and this is one time it did,” Sollars said. “It’s just that idea of nurses encouraging other nurses.”

Research shows that nurses who are certified in their specialty produce better patient safety and satisfaction outcomes.

“We really have been pushing it,” said Debbie White, RN, MSN, MSA, ACNS-BC, NEA-BC, St. Luke’s vice president and chief nursing officer.

White said when it comes to certification, the hospital puts its money where its mouth is and funds nurses’ test fees, which can range from $195 to $495.

St. Luke’s code neuro nurse Rachel Malloy, RN, BSN, CNRN, recently received her certification and has spearheaded an initiative to get more neuro nurses certified.

The department has 12 nurses taking the certification test in March.

“It’s an achievement. This is not an easy thing to do,” Malloy said.

St. Luke’s Neurology Department received a grant from the Neuroscience Nursing Foundation to help pay for some of the test fees. St. Luke’s Brain and Stroke Foundation pays the remainder.

Sollars said she hopes to see more initiatives for certification throughout the hospital.

“For me, getting certified was one more thing to make sure my patients get the best care.”

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