Nurses advancing their education and practice often do so by the letter. Nursing certifications, designated by lettered credentials, indicate specialty clinical training and expertise. After achieving the most widely recognized indicator of nursing — the RN for registered nurse — nurses can take certification programs supported by professional and trade organizations to attain the highest standards of specialty nursing care.
“National certification is a professional achievement that demonstrates a nurse’s commitment to the pursuit of excellence in specialty nursing practice areas,” said Diane P. Talarek, MA, RN, NE-BC, senior vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer. Talarek has a Nurse Executive certification (NE-BC).
Established in the early 1990s, certification requires rigorous testing and recognizes nurses for clinical excellence in various specializations.
Christiana Care’s more than 1,500 certified nurses represent more than 100 different specialty areas. That includes 66 percent of bedside nurses and 88 percent of nurse leaders. Nurses may have multiple certifications ranging from Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP-BC) to Psychiatric-Mental Health Care (PMHNP-BC).
“Certifications affirm advanced knowledge, skill, and practice to support expert patient- and family-centered care,” said Tamekia L. Thomas, MSN, RN, PCCN, ACNS-BC, certification coordinator at Christiana Care. Her certifications are in Progressive Care Nursing (PCCN) and Medical Surgical Nursing (ACNS-BC).
Christiana Care offers in-person and online review courses, as well as support for initial testing fees and certification renewal. Nurses also benefit from encouragement from their peers.
“We have study groups for nurses taking review courses,” said Jennifer Sikoutris, RN, CEN, PCEN. “We believe certification is key in providing quality care, and our nurses support one another in reaching that goal.” Sikoutris is a nurse in the Emergency Department at Wilmington Hospital and chair of the Nurse Education Council. Her certifications are both in Emergency Nursing.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center marks Certified Nurses Day on March 19 as an opportunity to recognize nurses who have achieved professional certification in nursing specialty areas. Christiana Care will celebrate its certified nurses at events on March 19 at Wilmington Hospital and March 20 at Christiana Hospital.
Nurses interesting in learning more about earning a nursing certification may contact Tamekia Thomas at email@example.com or 302-733-1190.