Brody Eick, MBA, BSN, RN, CEN, CCRN, TCRN is currently a volunteer for BCEN’s TCRN Exam Construction Review Committee. Residing in Palm Springs, California, he alternates between working in the ICU and the ED at Loma Linda University Medical Center. He also works for the Society of Trauma Nurses as their Chair of the Membership Engagement and Marketing Committee. We had a chance to talk with Brody this month about the value of certification, how he advocates for it, and supports his fellow nurses.
How do you advocate for and assist people in getting certified?
People are motivated one of two ways – internally or externally. Some hospitals offer raises or promotions up the clinical ladder when a nurse gets certified, which motivates people externally. Other times, nurses are interested in certification internally, to prove their knowledge to themselves or for pride in the achievement of it.
The best way for me to be an advocate for certification is to show them off proudly and be a resource for my coworkers. Occasionally, nurses will come to me and ask about preparing for the certification exams because they see that I have multiple certifications. I’m always happy to answer peoples’ questions and encourage them throughout the process.
In your opinion, what is the most important reason nurses should get certified?
Certification really validates your knowledge. For me, it’s made me a more confident and capable nurse. I can trust my knowledge and think quicker on my feet, which is necessary in both the ICU and ED. Maintaining those hard-earned certifications is just as important as earning them initially. That requires keeping up your knowledge and staying up to date on best practices, which results in improved patient outcomes.
Do you feel your certification has assisted you during the COVID-19 pandemic, as healthcare has been rapidly changing?
Healthcare workers, especially in the ED, are constantly expecting the unexpected. ED nurses are on the frontlines no matter what; working in the ED, you must be prepared for whatever comes through that door. As I mentioned, having a certification assists in staying up to date with new and developing healthcare practices, and being certified already had me in the practice of researching and keeping up with these developments. Those who are preparing for the exam or maintaining the credential through continuing education are constantly furthering their knowledge and learning about best practices in their specialty area.
What is your favorite part about working for BCEN on the TCRN ECRC?
The TCRN ECRC meetings are the highlights of my year! That committee is like a little family and I look forward to all the laughing and learning we do together. It’s a great time for us trauma junkies to “nerd out” over nursing, while also being able to network. I’m super proud to volunteer for BCEN and their partnering membership organization, Society of Trauma Nurses. Working with both of these organizations makes me a great resource for my peers and I’m so grateful to do what I do.
What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing certification or trying to get their team certified?
If you’re trying to get certified yourself, just relax! Trust that you have the knowledge you need to succeed. Review the practice questions and understand the rationale behind those so you can get a good grasp on what the questions are really asking.
If you’re trying to get your team certified, you must lead by example and show them how proud you are to hold your own certification. I list all my certifications everywhere I can, even on my scrub cap, and make sure my team knows they can come to me for any questions about certification. Leadership and pride really make others want to follow suit. Make sure you are providing yourself as a resource for them and offering them as much support as possible.