Why Nursing Certification Matters

Nursing certification has helped advance the industry by encouraging, recognizing, and rewarding individuals who actively pursue professional growth opportunities.

But nursing certifications do more than benefit the individual nurses who attain them — they can also improve quality outcomes. The more skills and specialties you have, the better equipped you are to provide your patients with higher quality care.

With the rise in popularity of nursing certifications, many organizations have come to recognize the benefits of hiring certified nurses. According to a survey from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, 86% of nurse managers said they would hire a certified nurse over a noncertified nurse (assuming all other factors were equal).

Why Should a Nurse Become Certified?

There are several reasons why nursing certification matters. At the most basic level, certification leads to better job prospects by enhancing professional credibility, validating specialized knowledge, and demonstrating a higher level of clinical competence, all of which can lead to higher salaries for nurses. Certification can also improve nurses’ confidence and expand their skill sets, strengthening the connection between nursing specialty certification and better patient outcomes.

More specifically, nursing certifications:

Increase Recognition and Respect

Certification demonstrates that you have proven your competence and distinguished yourself within your specialty — two qualities that are appreciated by everyone from supervisors and administrators to peers and patients. By continuing to invest in your education through recertification, you can demonstrate your continued mastery according to the latest evidence-based practice standards and serve as a leader in best practices within your specialty.

Enhance Professional Opportunities

In addition to providing you with a competitive edge during the hiring process, certification also tends to lead to more opportunities for upward mobility once you’ve been hired. More authority and responsibility often correlate with higher pay, further building the case that certification can lead to higher salaries for nursing professionals.

Boost Confidence

The more experience and education you have, the better equipped you are to address complex, challenging situations when they arise. Through nursing certification, you can expand your knowledge base and gain the skills you need to confidently assist your patients.

What Types of Nursing Certifications Are Important?

There are many different types of nursing certifications available. While nurses are encouraged to pick certifications that align with their career interests, several certifications are particularly well-regarded within the healthcare field, including:

Wound Care Certification

Wound care nurses assist patients dealing with acute and chronic wounds, identifying the specific type of wound a patient has, creating comprehensive treatment plans, and preventing infection.

The National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy (NAWCO) requires nurses to obtain hands-on experience in wound care before they can become a certified wound care nurse. To fulfill this obligation, nurses must demonstrate that they have either completed 120 hours of hands-on clinician training with an approved NAWCO preceptor, worked full time for two years or part time for four years in an approved profession with ongoing, active involvement in caring for patients with wounds, or worked full time for two years or part time for four years within wound …read more

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