Robin's Nest President's Column - March 2020
I’ve shared my story about my first convention with you previously. What I haven’t told you about that convention is that my colleague and I also attended the AMSN Certification Review Course prior to the start of convention and then stayed over an extra day to sit for the certification examination which was in a paper and pencil format. Our days were spent in class and our evenings were spent studying and quizzing each other. On the day of the exam, we were both quite nervous although we finished feeling okay about how we did. The wait for results was longer then, about 6 weeks, and we both were anticipating and fearing the notification at the same time.
While my experience is most likely different from yours, several things remain the same. Nurses who obtain specialty certification in their field of practice are dedicated to providing the best patient care they can. They demonstrate this commitment to nursing and their patients by preparing for and receiving certification. In addition, certification – and recertification, validates competency in the specialty of medical-surgical nursing and demonstrates a mastery of knowledge and skills, establishing the nurse as an expert in their field.
Other benefits of certification include opportunities for career advancement and mobility, with additional benefits of additional pay in some cases and better patient outcomes. Studies have demonstrated links between specialty certification and improved quality of care which lead to better patient outcomes. Nurses who have specialty certification serve as role models for their colleagues and for students. I have been a CMSRN for more than 15 years and I still stand a little taller and have a sense of pride every time I add those initials behind my signature.
March 19th is Certified Nurses Day. It is a day to celebrate the accomplishment of going above and beyond the standard of care, of your accomplishment and dedication to lifelong learning and improved quality of care. I hope the facility or unit you practice on celebrates this one day in recognition of all that certified nurses bring to the table. In most cases, this is a voluntary rather than a mandatory requirement. I recently made a call to notify a unit of their achievement of the PRISM Award and I was so pleased to learn that 71% of the nursing staff on this particular unit held a specialty certification!
Now that’s commitment and a great reason to celebrate!
If you are interested in learning more about certification, products that help with certification preparation including test questions or review courses, please visit the AMSN website. There is a tab on the website that will take you to these resources as well as information on the FailSafe Certification Program; this is a program designed for facilities that want to promote certification. I encourage you to check it out!
Regardless of where you are on your certification journey, take some time to celebrate you and your ongoing commitment to the specialty of medical-surgical nursing!