Achieving Specialty Certification at a Community Hospital
Deborah Goodlett, MSN, RN; Stuart Redfearn, MSN, RN
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<p>Background: Specialty certification of nurses is linked to improved patient outcomes, such as quality, patient safety and patient satisfaction. Nursing Professional Development (NPD) practitioners struggle to promote nursing specialty certification in organizations due to common barriers identified by nurses, some of which include cost, test anxiety, lack of access to preparation courses and exam sites (Perlstein et al., 2014). In 2014, at a small community hospital, forty-five nurses held specialty certifications. The purpose of this evidenced based practice project was to increase the number of certified nurses at the facility by 10% in 2015 and again in 2016.</p>
<p>Methods: NPD practitioners will promote certification through education on certification process, benefits and reduction in barriers. The project started in January 2015. NPD practitioners provided education on the certification process through fact sheets and in-services. NPD practitioners presented information on a structured program to eliminate cost, process to facilitate journal clubs, and career planning sessions. The structured program includes a certification bonus, vouchers for examination cost and access to certification review information. The EBP team performed a literature review on certification, identified current and desired states.</p>
<p>Outcomes: In 2015, fifty-five nurses held specialty certifications, exceeding the project goal. Year to date 2016, fifty-nine nurses hold specialty certifications.</p>
<p>Conclusion: The increase in nurses certified in their specialty indicates success of this model. Opportunities included enhancing study group access and career development sessions.</p>
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