nursing certificationResources in health care are becoming more scarce and, in some cases, harder to access. Nurses are resources but unfortunately there is a national shortage of nursing.

However, in this era of managed care and reimbursement constraints, there is a need for certified nurses.

What does certification mean to the professional nurse? Why is it important? What are the benefits of certifying your chosen profession?

Certification holds numerous benefits for nurses, read on and learn those advantages.

  1. It establishes professionalism. Certification exemplifies expertise and dedication to a specific subject area. Likewise, when the nurse is certified, it shows evidence of her professional growth. It also shows a life-long learning for the benefit of patients.
  2. It demonstrates commitment. Certification demonstrates a level of commitment to the nurses and to the well-being of the patients.
  3. It promotes expertise. Patients and their families are becoming more knowledgeable and they are consumers. Therefore, they are more likely to choose a professional with expertise.
  4. It is self-fulfilling. Earning certification does take time and it does require a level of dedication. However, it can prove to be self-fulfilling, and it can instill pride in those who obtain it.
  5. It offers quality in health care. Certification demonstrates competency and expertise (as previously stated). Competent nurses with certification will promote quality in healthcare.
  6. It is often a necessity. Nursing is bound by internal and external mechanisms that define competent practice. Building systems that define the competency of health care providers is required of all organizations accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).
  7. It influences insurance companies. Insurance companies are more likely to be influenced when documentation is made by a nurse practitioner who has obtained certification in her profession.
  8. It is a must when marketing. Globalization, competition, and telecommunication are paramount in today’s medical practice. If nurses want to market themselves as professionals who provide the highest quality of health care services, certification is a must. Consumers are now savvy when choosing their health care practitioner. The internet has influenced their decision making, and certification enhances one’s marketability.
  9. It affects patient outcomes. The relationship between certification and outcomes is a crucial issue in the future of nursing certification. Quantitative and qualitative data demonstrates that the patient outcomes are more favorable when patients are cared for by a practitioner who has obtained certification in his/her field.

In today’s healthcare arena, Americans have a different attitude when it comes to trusting their health care provider. At the government level, there has been more of a discussion on quality health care and the public has been listening.

In turn, customers are now rethinking the competency of their practitioner. Passing one initial board exam no longer demonstrates competency and in order for practitioners to be considered credible, certification in their specific field of expertise is now a necessity.