Survey: Nurses with CCRN certification play significant role in EBP

It is no secret certification can boost nursing careers and improve patient outcomes. Now new survey data is showing nurses with CCRN certification play a significant role in translating evidence-based practice to everyday clinical practice.

Results of the survey, conducted by Kristin Hittle Gigli, PhD, RN, and her colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center were published Jan. 1 in the American Journal of Critical-Care. The survey included 268 critical care nurses in 12 intensive care units at six UPMC hospitals. Survey results showed a connection between nurses who with CCRN certification and their knowledge of and perceived value in specific evidence-based practice used to care for patients receiving mechanical ventilation, according to a University of Pittsburgh news release.

What EBP are they talking about?

The research showed nurses with CCRN certification reported greater knowledge of spontaneous breathing trials and lung-protective ventilation. Certified nurses also reported significantly higher self-efficacy, according to the study.

“Many evidence-based practices remain underused, partly because of gaps between providers’ attitudes toward practices and the delivery of care at the bedside,” co-author Kristin Hittle Gigli, PhD, RN, CPNP-AC, CCRN, a postdoctoral research fellow at the CRISMA Center, said in the news release. “Our findings support the value of nurses with specialty certification, especially among institutions that aim to improve outcomes and increase the adoption of evidence-based practices.”

More than 95,000 acute and critical care nurses worldwide are certified in adult, pediatric or neonatal nursing, according to the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. CCRN certification helps nurses stay continuously updated on their knowledge of acute and critical care nursing.

The AACN also points to research associating higher levels of clinical knowledge, skill and experience with CCRN certification. Healthcare is becoming more complex, the association states on its website, and today’s critically ill patients require closer observance and greater advanced care than before.

Additionally, employers who support their nurses’ pursuit of certification have a higher chance of reducing retention while succeeding in a competitive healthcare market.

Americans also prefer hospitals staffed by nurses with specialty certifications, according to the AACN. The University of Pittsburgh research shows a need for health systems to continue increasing the numbers of baccalaureate-prepared nurses and nurses certified by the AACN.

The good news is hospitals already are working to grow the number of nurses with BSN degrees in their workforces and providing incentives for nurses to attain certification, according to the study. Implementing evidence-based practices to improve healthcare also is underway at hospitals.

“Nursing specialty certification was associated with nurses’ individual psychosocial beliefs and their perceptions of evidence-based practices in the intensive care unit, whereas education level was not,” the UPMC study authors concluded. “Supporting nurses in obtaining specialty certification could assist with the adoption of evidence-based practices as a means to improve quality of care in the intensive care unit.”

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