5 Advantages of Getting Your Nurse Certification
By Erin Wallace, Contributor
The nursing field is growing quickly, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimating registered nurse employment increasing by 15 percent by 2026 — or an addition of 438,100 new nursing jobs. One of the smartest things nurses can do for their careers and for the benefit of their patients is to earn a specialized nurse certification. Becoming more knowledgeable in different healthcare areas can also help make you more valuable in the workplace.
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5 benefits to getting your nurse certification
1. Sets you apart from the competition
In such a competitive field where job opportunities are plentiful, it's important to distinguish yourself from the pool of potential job candidates, and a nurse certification is one of the easiest ways to do it. Employers value certification and may even require it in some cases. Nurse certification shows you have demonstrated specialty knowledge, have experience and can use strong clinical judgment.
2. Lets you provide more specialized care for patients
According to the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, today's patients who are critically ill require “heightened vigilance and extraordinarily intricate care from a team of highly skilled health professionals.” When nurses earn their certification in a particular specialty area or earn advanced training for positions such as a nurse practitioner, they can help provide improved care for their patients.
3. Creates a culture of retention within hospitals
Given the recent nursing shortage of RNs that is expected to grow as Baby Boomers age and retire while the need for healthcare increases, nurse certification helps create an environment of professionalism and retention among nursing staff. It helps RNs differentiate themselves from other prospective candidates, and it helps hospitals remain competitive as they can demonstrate to patients, families and residents that their medical facility employs the most skilled and experienced nursing professionals.
4. Shows your commitment to your career
Because nurse certification is a voluntary process, obtaining specialty certification demonstrates your commitment to your nursing career and provides evidence that you have a desire to grow professionally and hone your skills. It points to your commitment to patient care and career development.
5. Broadens your job opportunities
Earning your nurse certification shows that you meet national nursing standards, and this is appealing to employers. Certified nurses are able to work with many diverse groups of patients and in many clinical settings. Nurses can earn and maintain a variety of nurse certifications including:
- Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
- Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP)
- Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse (AOCN)
- Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN)
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
Whether you're graduating from nursing school soon or you've been working as an RN for a few years, consider obtaining your nurse certification sooner rather than later. It can help propel your nursing career, provide job security and demonstrate your commitment to providing top-quality care for your patients.