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WRNMMC Recognizes Certified Nurses


By Kalila Fleming

WRNMMC Command Communications Staff Writer

Staff gathered in the Arrowhead atrium to celebrate and recognize certified nurses at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) on August 18.
The event kicked off with words from Director of Nursing Navy Capt. Valerie Morrison, about the medical facility’s journey to Pathway of Excellence and explaining the importance of and benefits of nursing certifications.
“Becoming a board certified nurse is taking the next step in one’s nursing practice; it is the recognition that a nurse has expert knowledge, skills and abilities to provide the highest quality of care to our patients,” Morrison proclaimed.
She added, “A board certified nurse is a nurse who believes that nursing is something more than a job; they are vested in their profession and have the desire to know more, to be more and to give more.”
According to an article written by the American Credentialing Nursing Center, “Certification is a formal process by which a certified agency validates nursing knowledge in a defined role and clinical area of practice.”
The American Credentialing Nursing Center (ACNC) noted that as healthcare delivery and patient acuity become more complex, the demand for experience and highly skilled care providers with depth and breadth of knowledge is on the rise.
In a survey of more than 11,000 certified and non-certified nurses, conducted by the American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS) more than 90 percent of participants agreed that certification validates specialized nursing knowledge, enhances credibility and indicates a level of clinical competence.
Morrison quoted the ACNC adding that, “The preparation and study necessary for successful completion of certification examination improves the nurse’s ability to care for these patients during acute, chronic, and critically ill time frames.”
She continued, “Competency requirements for certification renewal ensure that certified nurse’s remain up-to-date in the latest information and developments in their specialties.”
The American Board of Nursing Specialties also found that 86 percent of survey participants would hire a certified nurse over a non-certified nurse if everything were equal; stating that the most common reasons cited were that certified nurses, “have a proven knowledge base in a given specialty and they demonstrate a greater professional commitment to lifelong learning.”
Morrison added that, “Most importantly certification contributes to better patient care and better outcomes of care. There is a growing body of knowledge that ties certification and links certification and nursing knowledge, techniques and judgment effecting our quality and patient safety.”
WRNMMC Registered Nurse Army 1st Lt. LaDonna Tolbert also mentioned that certification validates nursing knowledge, skills, and improves quality and safety giving a patient a “benchmark to measure” the level of care and expect to receive in a healthcare facility.
Tolbert explained, “As patient acuity becomes increasingly complex and nurses are called upon to perform more sophisticated care, certification helps to ensure that expertise and clinical judgment keeps pace.”
Perioperative Nurse Navy Cmdr. Robert Cuento concluded the event by encouraging non-certified nurses to obtain their certifications and informed them on how departments can boost those opportunities.
“It is great that we are recognizing certified nurses with events such as the [Certified Nurse Appreciation], these can orchestrate a rise in numbers,” Cuento expressed.
He concluded, “We definitely want to try and incentivize in addition to becoming certified, and leaders should continue to educate; educate patients, educate other nurses, and continue to educate themselves with research.”