Certified Nurses Day comes every year on March 19th. This day is to celebrate and congratulate all the nurses who have pursued credentials to increase their skills and knowledge thereby making them better nurses and improving patient outcomes and quality of care. Certified Nurses Day is a relatively new tradition. It was founded in 2008 by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Nurses Association (ANA).
Its date was chosen with intention as it is actually also the birthday of lauded nurse Margretta Madden Styles, RN, EdD, FAAN. Dr. Styles was dedicated to the importance of establishing credentials and higher standards for nurses, and ultimately her work expanded to have a global impact. In the 1970s, she built the very first extensive study of nurses and credentials. In the 80s, she focused her attention on the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and their work for credentialing. She further worked for the creation and establishment of the ANCC.
What is Nurse Credentialing?
A credential is defined by the dictionary as, "a qualification, achievement, personal quality, evidence of authority, or aspect of a person's background, typically when used to indicate that they are suitable for something."
For nurses credentialing means hours of learning, studying, working, observing, an investment of time, money, and energy all focused to achieve a specific level of higher understanding and knowledge to a class of diseases, a department or unit, a health system of the body, or a population.
Credentials are assigned in writing, typically in the form of a certificate and in the nursing industry at least, are often an acronym of letters. There are more than 200 nursing specialties and subspecialties combined and we fully expect that list to grow further as healthcare learning also grows.
Why is Nurse Credentialing Important?
Credentialing is important for both nurse and patient. Credentialing provides reassurance, confidence, and trust in the nurse providing treatment. Our patients might not understand everything that is involved in earning a credential, but they do on a basic level understand that our credentials mean we worked hard, we studied, and we have the knowledge and a standard set of skills that allows us to provide care.
Credentialing is important for nurses for a few different reasons. It holds us to a higher standard. It also provides us the opportunity to learn about topics that were either barely covered or not covered at all in our nurse schooling. This learning arms us with more confidence as we treat our patients, and perhaps even some pride in the symbol of our achievement.
According to the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) credentialing for nurses is vital, “As healthcare has become more complex, it has become increasingly vital to assure the public that healthcare professionals are competent.”
Not only that, but there is also a rising need for nurses who specialize in certain fields that are growing in demand, such as nursing informatics. Furthermore, this causes a train reaction and creates an environment in which specialized nurses are in very high demand, which can often garnish higher pay, etc.
How Should I Display All My Credentials Properly?
If you've wondered this question, you're certainly in good company. Many nurses have attained quite a list to put behind their names, but how to arrange them all could trip anyone up when updating a resume.
Good news, there actually is a preferred/recommended order to displaying your credentials. Put them after your name in the following order:
- Educational degree(s): In order of highest earned first
- Licensure: RN or LPN
- State designations or requirements: Includes APRN (advanced practice registered nurse), FNP (family nurse practitioner), CNS (clinical nurse specialist), and NE (nurse educator)
- National Certifications: Any certification awarded by an accrediting authority
- Awards and honors: Any outstanding achievements in nursing
- Other re
- cognitions: Any non-nursing certifications
Your university degree will go first because once you've earned it you aren't required to continue doing anything in order to keep it: it's permanent.
Medical journals may use a different order for credentials, and in that situation, you can adapt to their order.
Who Are the Credentialing Authorities in Nursing?
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is one of the most prominent boards providing a wide variety of certifications for nurses, although not the only one. Other certification boards include:
- American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) Certification Board
- American Board for Certification of Gastroenterology Nurses (ABCGN)
- American Board of Neuroscience Nursing (ABNN)
- American Board of Perianesthesia Nursing Certification,(ABPANC) Inc.
- American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Center (AHNCC)
- American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification (AALNC) Board
- Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN)
- Competency & Credentialing (CC) Institute
- Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center
- Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation
- Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board (MSNBC)
- National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA)
- National Board of Certification of School Nurses (NBCSN)
- National Certification Corporation (NCC)
- Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC)
- Orthopaedic Nurses Certification Board (ONCB)
- Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB)
- Radiologic Nursing Certification Board
- Rehabilitation Nursing Certification Board (CRRN)
- Wound, Ostomy, Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB)
Credentials and PRN Nursing
As a nurse, you are likely already familiar with per diem nursing (PRN) shifts. Whether they've been part of a requirement for work at a hospital, or you've simply picked up a few here and there, you know the pay is usually higher than your regular hourly wage.
At NursaTM, we've made it easy to find these PRN shifts that are available in real-time near you. You can schedule them ahead of time, or find one last minute for the next day. Our smartphone application makes browsing, selecting, and applying for PRN easy to do.
When you join NursaTM, you'll be prompted to create your professional digital portfolio. It's important that in addition to your verified nursing license, you include your certifications and credentials in your portfolio. These documents will give you an edge when there's competition for a shift, and make some high-paying PRN shifts available to you that wouldn't be otherwise.
You've worked hard for each and every one of your credentials. If you don't have enough hours of experience to sit for a specialty exam, NursaTM can help. Browsing our available PRN shifts may help you earn those contact hours needed, shift by shift.