National specialty certification, also called board certification, is the highest professional credential a nurse can earn.
In order to become a registered nurse, an individual has to sit for a licensing exam, which is designed to determine whether it’s safe for them to begin practice as an entry-level RN.
When an RN becomes interested in a particular specialty, such as adult or pediatric emergency nursing or trauma nursing or flight nursing, they can become board certified in their specialty, similar to what physicians do. To earn a specialty credential, RNs must pass a national specialty certification exam.
While the purpose of specialty certification is to independently validate specialty knowledge, skills and abilities, which provides important information to patients, families and employers … nurses earn specialty credentials for many reasons, including the sense of accomplishment and pride that comes with being among the best of the best in their specialty.
Research links specialty certification with improved patient outcomes … and certification also benefits nurses and their careers, healthcare teams, hospitals and other providers, and entire communities.
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Certified Nurses Day™ is celebrated worldwide every March 19, the birthday of Dr. Margretta “Gretta” Madden Styles, RN, EdD, FAAN. Gretta was one of the earliest and greatest champions of nursing certification. Her vision, leadership, research and advocacy helped form and influence certification throughout the U.S. and around the globe.
Certified Nurses Day is a day for organizations, communities and leaders to honor and recognize the clinical excellence, professionalism and service of nurses whose dedication to their specialty advances nursing and patient care every day.
This international nursing celebration day was created in 2008 by the American Nurses Association and the American Nurses Credentialing Center.