We’re not just nurses

nurse-stories_get-certifiedAs society develops, we’re becoming more and more specialized.

We’re not just nurses; we’re medical/surgical nurses, critical care nurses, behavioral care nurses, et cetera, et cetera.

Albeit, we pass the same licensure exam, we ultimately choose the field in which we specialize.

At most modern hospitals today, management wishes us to get certified, i.e. earn specialized credentials in our field.

According to management, they support certification because it’s believed that certification positively equates to better patient outcomes.

It’s true; some studies statistically show that specialized nursing credentials overall lower patient mortality rates, which is music to my ears.

All in all, it appears to be win-win: hospitals have lower mortality rates, we save more lives, and we get paid more doing it.

On average, certified nurses make more annually, approximately $18,000 more, and 24% of certified nurses earn more than $100,000 a year, which, in my opinion, isn’t bad.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the experience yet to become certified.

Usually, most certifications require two or more years of clinical experience prior to testing.

Okay, now it’s time to play devil’s advocate.

Do certifications make us better?

Well, I don’t know.  We do have statistics that show a positive correlation between certifications and lower patient mortality rates.

But, I’ve taken statistics, which means I know statistics can prove almost anything if you’re selective in how you assimilate and compute your data.

As the old adage goes, “there are three types of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

Do we earn more with a certification?

Probably.  As humans, we categorize people.

And typically, we pay people more due to their placement in a category.  As humans, it’s just what we do.

Overall, does certification matter?

I’m not sure, but when eligible, I’m getting certified.

If I can lower mortality rates, increase better patient outcomes, and make more money, I’ll do it without hesitation or provocation.

In the end, you must determine what’s right for you.

Here’s a list of a few certifications available:

  • Medical-Surgical: CMSRN and RN-BC
  • Acute Critical-Care Nursing: CCRN
  • Nurse Manager or Leader: CNML
  • Recognizing and Responding to Suicide Risk in Primary Care: RRSR-PC
  • Emergency Care: CEN
  • Certified Flight Registered Nurse: CFRN
  • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner – Adult/Adolescent: SANE-A



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